Business

Version 1 acquires London firm in latest of series of UK take-overs

Cedar director Simon Wragg (left) with Version 1 chief executive Tom O'Connor in London

IT services firm Version 1, which has a major presence in Northern Ireland, has bought London firm Cedar Consulting for an undisclosed sum - its sixth UK acquisition in the past five years.

The move adds 80 employees to the company's rapidly growing workforce and will expand its UK customer base to more than 250 companies.

The Dublin company says it has a pipeline of UK acquisitions planned for 2018 and beyond as part of its strategy to drive growth and expand outside Ireland post-Brexit.

Version 1, which is forecasting full-year revenues of €120 million (£105m) this year, entered the UK market in 2013 and now employs more that 400 employees at offices in Belfast, Edinburgh, London and the Midlands as well as another 700 in the Republic.

The company's chief executive Tom O'Connor said: "We see Brexit as a unique challenge which must be overcome in order to grow our business and continue to expand in the UK market. The current business marketplace is challenging.

"When Brexit is factored into the mix, the landscape becomes uncertain and complex, especially in Northern Ireland. But it can be overcome and it will not stop us delivering for our UK customers.''

He added: “The Cedar acquisition not only expands our rapidly growing footprint in the UK but also brings a team with market leading expertise and specialist skills in HR transformation, which will be of great benefit to our Northern Ireland customers. We're very excited about our future.''

Cedar Consulting, which was established 20 years ago and provides expert HR transformation services, will become part of Version 1's rapidly-growing ERP practice adding expertise in a number of specialist areas.

Cedar's directors Simon Wragg and Graham Varley will join Version 1's management team and will continue to manage customer relationships, business development and service delivery excellence in addition to helping oversee the successful integration of the two companies.

Version 1 was founded in 1996 by Justin Keatinge and John Mullen and is today one of the fastest growing IT services companies in Europe.

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