Kainos sells remaining stake in SpeechStorm for £2m

Belfast-based IT firm formerly owned speech recognition firm prior to 2010 MBO

Belfast-based IT firm Kainos Software has disposed of its stake in the speed recognition company SpeechStorm for £2 million.

San Francisco-based Genesys, which has partnered with Speechstorm since 2010, has acquired the company, which provides self-service and mobile apps that reduce telephone call waiting time for customers and reduce call handling time in contact centres.

SpeechStorm was previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kainos prior to a management buyout led by chief executive Oliver Lennon and backed by Crescent Capital in 2010. Kainos divested a majority stake in the business at that time and has had no operations involvement since then.

The consideration for Kainos’s interest in SpeechStorm is entirely in cash with an initial consideration and one-off gain of £2 million which will be recognised in the second half of the current financial year as an exceptional item. Kainos said a further small consideration will be retained in escrow and will be payable at a later stage, subject to certain conditions being met.

In the year to the end of March, SpeechStorm reported revenues of £2.3 million.

"SpeechStorm is an excellent example of a company that has been created using the group's technology expertise. Our focus is on the most profitable areas of the business where we are seeing the greatest demand from our customers, and now is the right time to realise the value that we have built in SpeechStorm," said Kainos chief executive Brendan Mooney.

Kainos, which is one of the North's largest locally owned IT services company, began life as a Queen's University spin out, provides digital technology solutions to more than 140 clients in the healthcare, government and financial services sectors in Europe and the US. Clients include Diageo, Travelex, Netflix and the National Health Service (NHS).

Established in 1986 as a joint venture between ICL and Qubis, it employs almost 800 staff working in eight offices in the USA, UK, Ireland, Poland and the Netherlands. The company is currently one of only three listed companies in the North.