Mead Data Central Inc., provider of the LEXIS and NEXIS computer services, announced Monday it has acquired Folio Corp., a pioneer in the development of information management software products.

Folio has headquarters in Provo and had been owned by a small group of shareholders, including its management. The transaction was completed Dec. 31.Founded in 1986 and employing 60 people, Folio will continue to be based in Utah. In March 1989, the company released its Folio VIEWS infobase software, which enables researchers to collect, organize, use and share information more effectively through infobases.

An infobase is similar to a database but is more effective at managing the free-format and semi-structured kinds of information that people deal with most often.

In 1991, Folio introduced MailBag software, an infobase application that stores and retrieves electronic mail messages on Novell LANs.

"The Folio software products are fast becoming the leaders in PC and LAN-based information man-agement," said Rodney L. Everhart, acting president of Mead Data Central. "This is a natural match with the value provided by the LEXIS and NEXIS services and the products of our other subsidiary companies."

LEXIS is the world's leading full-text computer-assisted legal research service, with caselaw, statutes and specialized law libraries. NEXIS is a computer-assisted electronic information service offering full-text articles and broadcast transcripts from the world's leading news and business sources.

Mead Data Central reported 1991 revenues of $469.5 million. The company and its subsidiaries employ more than 4,100 worldwide. Mead Data Central Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mead Corp., a leader in forest products and electronic publishing. Both companies have headquarters in Dayton, Ohio.

Henry E. Heilesen, chief executive officer of Folio, said the company "has had a fruitful rela-tion-ship with Mead Data Central for several years and look forward to having the resources of the company behind us."

Folio software is used by more than 80 commercial publishers in creating and distributing electronic versions of thousands of popular printed works, principally on compacts discs and magnetic media.