Version 1 changes ownership following five years of growth

21 Apr 2022

Image: Version 1

The company has tripled in size since it last changed ownership in 2017, driven by organic growth and a string of acquisitions.

Swiss private equity firm Partners Group has agreed to acquire a majority interest in veteran Irish tech company Version 1.

Sources for the Business Post claim the deal is in the upper end of the €600m to €800m range. The Irish Times estimates Version 1’s value at about €800m, five years on from an investment that valued the business at €200m.

Future Human

In 2017, UK-based private equity firm Volpi Capital acquired a majority stake in Version 1 from the company’s founders, John Mullen and then-CEO Justin Keatinge.

According to a statement, Version 1’s management had been seeking a new partner following a “successful” five years with Volpi Capital. Partners Group has emerged as that new partner and majority shareholder.

“We have been tracking Version 1 through our thematic focus on digital transformation,” said Partners Group partner Kim Nguyen.

“We value Version 1’s strong leadership team, differentiated offering and operations, which are reflected by excellent customer and employee satisfaction scores, and impressive organic growth. The company is well positioned to capitalise on the tailwinds driving increased digitisation across both the private and public sector and we have conviction in its growth prospects.”

Version 1’s growth trajectory

Founded in Dublin in 1996, Version 1 provides IT services ranging from consultancy to software development.

The company has tripled in size and its revenue has reached more than €240m since ownership changed hands in 2017.

Organic growth has been driven by increasing demand for digital, cloud, data, enterprise software and managed services.

The company has also increased its footprint through a string of 13 acquisitions to date, including Belfast-based digital services specialist Neueda last year.

Headquartered in Dublin and with offices in the UK, India and Spain, Version 1 currently has more than 2,000 employees globally. It has secured clients across the public and private sectors in the UK and Ireland.

CEO Tom O’Connor, who took the lead from Keatinge in 2017, will continue on with his management team.

“Partners Group’s sectoral knowledge and international reach will be as important to Version 1 as their investment and endorsement of our growth strategy,” said O’Connor. “We are also pleased for our customers and staff who will benefit as we continue to grow and add more great people to the Version 1 team.”

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by mid-2022.

Crevan O’Grady, partner at exiting shareholder Volpi Capital, wished the company continued success. “It is a great team that puts a huge focus on its people and delivers customer success alongside a compelling, values-led approach that augurs well for its next phase of growth.”

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com