Belfast Telegraph

Software firm buys up three London specialists

By Aisling Scally

Northern Ireland company First Derivatives is back on the acquisition trail once more. The Newry financial software and consulting firm, which is one of the province's few listed companies, has bought three London-based firms and will pay a maximum of £3.15m in a cash and shares deal.

Redshift Horizons, Redshift Horizons LLP and Cowrie Financial provide software and services related to electronic trading systems.

Redshift employs 15 specialist data consultants, while Cowrie has 16 permanent employees.

First Derivatives said the acquisitions - its first in two years - would increase clients and expertise and also give it access to new markets.

The founders of both companies, Tom Kozlowski and Anjum Waheed, will remain with First Derivatives in senior roles.

Mr Kozlowski said: "We look forward to bringing our experience and know-how, allowing us to build on First Derivatives' success to-date."

The Co Down company is known for acquiring small technology firms to enhance its main products, which are used by investment banks and stockbrokers worldwide.

Brian Conlon, chief executive officer of First Derivatives, said: "Both companies have successful track records of developing profitable results and excellent service delivery and we believe the expertise of the Redshift and Cowrie teams will prove highly complementary to our workforce of world-class technology professionals."

Mr Conlon set up the company in 1996, famously running its from the spare bedroom of his mother's house In Newry in its early days..

It has grown organically and by acquisition since then, with earlier acquisitions including Canadian business LakeFront Data, Australian firm Hologram, US firm Reference Data Factory and Cognotec in Dublin.

Clients of its software and consulting services have included Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, ABN Amro and Wells Fargo.