Irish tech entrepreneur sells data firm for €6m

Compass Informatic operates State’s National Biodiversity Data Centre

Dublin-based Compass Informatics, which operates the State’s National Biodiversity Data Centre (above), has been acquired by Aim-listed British company Tracsis.

Dublin-based Compass Informatics, which operates the State’s National Biodiversity Data Centre (above), has been acquired by Aim-listed British company Tracsis.

 

An Irish data analytics and location-tracking technology business has been bought by a listed UK software group in a deal worth up to €6 million.

Dublin-based Compass Informatics, which operates the State’s National Biodiversity Data Centre, has been acquired by Aim-listed British company Tracsis. The deal was announced to Tracsis shareholders on Wednesday.

Compass has been sold by businessman Gearóid Ó Riain, who founded the company in 1997. It has offices in Blackrock in Co Dublin, in the UK, and also in South Africa, and employs about 50 staff.

According to Tracsis, it will pay an initial €3.15 million to Mr Ó Riain in cash, and it will also issue shares in the Aim-listed business to the value of €350,000. It will make a further payment of €500,000 upon completion of the deal, with a further payout of up to €2 million due if Compass meets financial targets during its first three years under the new owners.

The staff of the Irish business will all transfer to the new owner, and the statement by Tracsis suggests the existing management team of Compass will stay on to run the business under its new UK owner.

Compass’s technology is used in spatial planning, traffic and transportation management, and to analyse data, such as at the National Biodiversity Data Centre, where it keeps track of species of animals and plants in the Irish environment under a contract with the Heritage Council.

The Irish business was advised on the deal by Brian Geraghty, a partner in financial adviser Crowe, as well as the law firm Beauchamps, under corporate partner Maire Cunningham.

Capitalisation

Tracsis, which has a market capitalisation of about £170 million, said Compass, its first acquisition outside the UK, is “a natural fit for our traffic & data services division”.

Mr Ó Riain suggested that Compass, under Tracsis’s ownership, will look to expand in the UK market, which he said was a “far larger market opportunity” than Ireland.

The Dublin businessman is also involved in other location-tracking businesses, including UK firm Citi Logik and Irish parking payments outfit GoParkit Technologies, where he is the majority shareholder. GoParkit was not part of the Tracsis deal.