Dublin e-payments player Realex acquired by Global Payments for €115m

25 Mar 2015

Pictured: Realex founder and CEO Colm Lyon

Realex Payments, the technology company formed by Colm Lyon, has been acquired by Global Payments for €115m.

Atlanta-headquartered Global Payments employs 4,200 people worldwide and is a Fortune 1000 company active in 28 countries. 

Realex was founded in 2000 when founder Colm Lyon took the advice of his neighbour, prominent businessman John Teeling, to wait until he was at least 38 to start his business.

Funded by a Business Expansion Scheme (BES) Lyon established Realex Payments to provide electronic payment processing for internet companies and retailers. The company’s first client was DirectSki.com.

Today Realex processes over €28bn worth of payments a year on behalf of 12,500 clients around thew orld.

The company employs 200 people in Dublin, London and Paris, and has more than 3,500 clients across Europe, including AA, Virgin Atlantic, Paddy Power , The AA, Vodafone and Aer Lingus, as well as a number of major gaming companies, such as Party Poker.

Global picture

The Realex Payments Management Team, (l-r) Paul Davey, CFO; Gary Conroy, COO; Andrew Yoakley, head of business development; Morgan Hammersley, CIO; Colm Lyon, CEO and founder; Ciarán Cassidy, head of product management; and Owen O Byrne, chief product architect. Picture: Brendan Lyon/ImageBureau

“We are thrilled to be joining the Global Payments team,” Lyon said.

“It’s great news for our customers, for our employees, and for Ireland. For Realex Payments’ existing 12,500 merchants, this deal means they can avail of Global Payments unmatched international presence, entering new markets and driving their global ecommerce business like never before. 

“And for Realex Payments’ staff, the diversity of opportunity that comes with the deal is enormous.  Global Payments conducts business in 28 countries with 4,200 employees across the globe.

“Lastly, this is another great news story for Ireland.  Going forward, the company will be at the heart of ecommerce for a Fortune 1000 company that services over 1.5 million merchants.”

Global Payments plans to invest further in its European expansion.

“We are excited to further invest in our European businesses, continue to leverage our multinational footprint and accelerate our growth opportunities at a favourable time in Europe,” said Global Payments CEO Jeff Sloan.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years