Thursday 29 June 2017

Financial software firm Ion sues over early end to US deal

Stock photo: Depositphotos
Stock photo: Depositphotos
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin-based financial software firm Ion Trading is suing Los Angeles-headquartered investment firm Wedbush Securities for more than $608,000 (€572,000), claiming the US company has failed to pay fees due under a licence agreement.

Wedbush, which has about $1.5bn of assets under management, has denied it owes money, claiming it terminated an agreement between the pair.

But Ion Trading has argued in a New York court that Wedbush cannot terminate the agreement before December 2018. The Irish Ion operation is part of the US Ion Group, which is backed by the Carlyle private equity group. Founded and headed by ceo Andrea Pignataro, Ion generated operating profits of €281m in 2015 on revenue of €605.8m.

Its software enables clients to automate trading activities in financial markets, and also includes treasury and management software systems for central banks and other financial institutions. In a complaint, Ion Trading claims that it entered into a software licence agreement in 2013 with a US firm called Crossland, allowing the client to process up to 25m transactions a year. The licence ran from 2013 to the end of 2018, according to Ion.

Ion claims that a special condition that would have allowed the licence to be terminated early was not signed by Crossland by the date required to make that condition effective.

Crossland was acquired by Wedbush in 2014. In February 2015, Crossland's liabilities and obligations with respect to the software licence with Ion were transferred to Wedbush.

In September that year, Wedbush told Ion it was terminating its contract effective from December 2015. Ion informed Wedbush that it was not entitled to do so and subsequently invoiced Wedbush on three occasions for a total of $608,000. The invoices were not paid. Ion has asked the court to order Wedbush to pay the $608,000 as well as interest and legal fees.

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