Belfast Telegraph

Gasworks consulting firm unveils its fifth acquisition

By Margaret Canning

An Irish IT firm with an office in Belfast has acquired a business in Birmingham for an undisclosed sum.

Version 1, which operates in IT consulting and managed services, today unveils its fifth acquisition, Patech Solutions Ltd.

Version 1 set up in Belfast in May 2012, and works with big clients in the pharmaceutical sector, including Almac in Craigavon, as well as government and utilities. It opened a new office in Belfast's Gasworks last year and is on track to employ more than 75 people here by the end of 2017.

Dublin-based Version 1 said the acquisition would enable it to "strengthen its position as the leading Oracle partner in the UK and Ireland".

Justin Keatinge, chief executive of Version 1, said: "Patech is a close fit with our aggressive acquisition criteria and strengthens our public sector profile and our Oracle practice across Ireland and the UK.

"With 65 staff, Patech has an enviable pool of e-business talent on which Version 1 can build.

"Similar to Version 1, Patech has a successful and very strong public sector record, a sector in which we are keen to grow, so it is an exciting opportunity for us."

Tony Bird, the founder and chief executive of Patech, said: "Version 1's acquisition of Patech is an exciting development for us and will enable us to provide a wider range of solutions and services to our existing clients.

"It will also help us to scale up our business rapidly and to capture even more opportunities both within the Oracle e-business space and also the broader IT services market."

Version 1 describe itself as "Ireland's leading IT consulting and managed services company". It employs 600 people, including 150 in the UK. It was founded in 1996 by Mr Keatinge and John Mullen. Previous acquisitions include Prose Software in 2006, PM Centrix in 2010, Tieto UK in 2013 and Rocela Group in 2014.

The firm has doubled both profitability and revenue over the last few years, and clients include Airtricity, Irish Life, RTE and 02.

In 2013 it won a £4m deal with Almac to support its global financial and clinical systems.

Belfast Telegraph