Version 1 pushes further into UK with two planned acquisitions

16 Jan 2023

From left back row: Andrew Mason of Qubix, Enda Diggins and Colm Gillard of Version 1, Richard Pepper of Qubix, Kevin Ryan of Version 1, Neil Sellers of Qubix, Norm Russell of Automation Logic and Matt Yorke of Qubix. From front row left: Emily Toole, Nick Barton and Kris Saxton of Automation Logic. Image: Alistair Veryard Photography

The rapidly expanding company will have more than 650 customers after these acquisitions and expects to make more than €255m in revenue this year.

Irish IT and digital transformation provider Version 1 has signed deals to acquire two tech companies in the UK, which will grow its staff numbers to more than 3000.

The company plans to acquire cloud adoption company Automation Logic and business analytics provider Qubix for undisclosed amounts.

Version 1 said it will have more than 650 customers after these deals and expects to make more than €255m in revenue this year. The company is on track to double its headcount from 1,500 in 2020.

Automation Logic partners with tech giants such as AWS and Microsoft to provide cloud services to its clients and help businesses develop their digital infrastructure. Some of its biggest customers include the UK Ministry of Justice, HM Revenue and Customs and Lloyds Banking Group.

Enda Diggins, managing director of Version 1’s UK digital, data and cloud practice, said the acquisition will create “one of the strongest cloud transformation capabilities in the UK”.

“We will be in a very advantageous position for our customers to tap into a depth and breadth of expertise in AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps and Platform Engineering,” Diggins said. “This acquisition deepens our digital, data and cloud expertise, providing more opportunities for our people to develop professionally, and to do what they love – work on interesting challenges with our customers.”

The deal with Automation Logic is subject to clearance by the UK’s National Security and Investment Act 2021.

Meanwhile, Qubix specialises in Oracle technology to provide various services for its customers such as advice, cloud migration and implementing new Oracle-based systems. Founded in 1987, the company has grown to 170 staff with offices in the US, India, Australia and Slovenia.

The company’s CEO Julian Owens and Paul Johnston, group director of strategy and growth  will step down as part of this acquisition, while the rest of Qubix’s team will join Version 1.

Owens said the company was looking for a partner who would “complement our existing business” while providing “a good home for our staff”.

“We believe Version 1 is that good home,” Owens said. “Qubix brings a strong record to Version 1 in driving business agility and transformation and will strengthen the company’s existing Oracle ERP capability as well as providing springboards to international expansion in the Americas and Asia Pacific.”

The two acquisitions will be Version 1’s 15th and 16th since it was founded in Dublin in 1996. The company has been making an expansion push in the UK since last year.

Last January, it announced plans to open a new tech hub in Newcastle upon Tyne, creating up to 200 jobs in the area over two years. The following month, it revealed that it had acquired London-based service design specialist Evoco.

Last October, the company snapped up Scotland’s data and business intelligence specialist Instinctive BI.

Version 1 changed ownership last year after Swiss private equity firm Partners Group agreed to acquire a majority interest in the company. At the time, Version 1’s value was estimated to be up to €800m. The transaction was completed in August 2022.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic