Belfast Telegraph

First Derivatives now full owner of tech firm Kx Systems after buying up shares

Brian Conlon
Brian Conlon

By Ellie Donnelly and Margaret Canning

Global software business First Derivatives, which is based in Newry, has said it has reached a major milestone in becoming the full owner of technology firm Kx Systems.

The plc announced yesterday that it had completed the acquisition of a minority shareholding in Kx Systems.

The move takes First Derivatives' ownership of Kx Systems to 100% after it paid $53.8m (£43m) in cash, five years after first acquiring a major stake in the business.

Kx Systems provides companies with high-speed processing of real-time, streaming and historical data. Customers include Aston Martin, Red Bull Racing, Airbus and Commerzbank.

Brian Conlon, chief executive of First Derivatives, said: "Since we acquired a controlling stake in Kx Systems in October 2014 we have invested heavily to deliver the performance advantages of our combined solutions, branded as Kx technology, to a range of end-markets.

"We are making exciting progress as we demonstrate our ability to transform our customers' operational performance by unlocking the value in their data.

"Full ownership of Kx Systems is an important milestone as we continue to commercialise our technology."

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First Derivatives provides software, consulting and data analytics products and services. Starting in the investment banking sector, it now supplies its products to non-financial sectors.

The completion of the Kx deal comes after full-year revenues at the company passed £200m for the first time. Full-year figures for the plc showed a 38% surge in pre-tax profits to £16.7m, on the back of a 17% rise in revenue to £217.4m for the year to February 28, 2019.

Last month the company announced that Mr Conlon is being treated for cancer, but he said he will remain in his position with support from group chairman Seamus Keating.

Chief operating officer Adrian Toner told the Belfast Telegraph that Mr Conlon was "mentally very strong and determined" and was still actively engaged in the company.

It's one of just four listed companies from Northern Ireland. Kainos plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange, while First Derivatives, Diaceutics and Fusion Antibodies are listed on the Alternative Investment Market.

Belfast Telegraph