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First Derivatives says Quantum acquisition will help boost growth

By Margaret Canning

Published 13/01/2016

Brian Conlon, chief executive of First Derivatives
Brian Conlon, chief executive of First Derivatives

Newry-based financial software firm First Derivatives has said its latest acquisition will help boost its growth.

The company, which is led by Brian Conlon, has paid £2.2m for QuantumKDB.

The English consultancy firm was founded in 2011 by chief executive Kieran Lucid and provides consulting in the UK, US and Hong Kong.

Analysts at Investec said the transaction could be described as an "acquihire" as QuantumKDB staff had skills which were not easy to find anywhere else.

Mr Lucid said: "We are excited about drawing on the expertise we've gained to assist the group in its ambitious plans for the future."

First Derivatives is paying an initial £1.7m, including £0.6m in cash, and £1.1m through 72,940 new shares.

And a further £0.5m is payable if certain targets are met in one year's time.

Quantum will add its 15 consultants to First Derivatives' workforce.

Analysts at Goodbody Stockbrokers said Quantum was "relatively small" in comparison with First Derivatives' 2015 acquisitions. But it nonetheless highlighted the "expansion aspirations" of the First Derivatives management team.

In February, First Derivatives bought software company Prelytix LLC for an initial fee of £4.9m.

In March, it made two more acquisitions, Affinity Systems in Ontario for an initial £3.8m, and Dublin-based software business ActivateClients for an initial £3.3m.

And in September, the company announced it was setting up FD Labs, a research and development facility in Ottawa, Canada.

Brian Conlon set up the company in 1996 in a spare bedroom in his mother's house in Newry.

It's grown into the largest listed company in Northern Ireland. In 2014, it created 484 new jobs at its Newry base, after it received £3.9m from Invest NI, bringing the global total of its workforce to almost 1,500. In June last year, the company announced a pre-tax profits rise of 120%, from £7.9m in 2014 to £17.5m.

Belfast Telegraph

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