Sunday 19 January 2020

Clare cyber attack firm sold for just €50,000

Stock photo
Stock photo

Gordon Deegan

The Co Clare-based customer loyalty programme business that was victim to a "very sophisticated cyber attack" over six years ago has been sold on for just €50,000.

The cash sale for Loyaltybuild Ltd's Irish trade came 10 years after three Co Clare businessmen bucked the recession when they sold the firm to a US company, Affinion, for €25m.

One of the three to have cashed in at the time was aircraft leasing tycoon and CEO of Avolon, Dómhnal Slattery.

Mr Slattery, Sean Lyne and founding CEO of Loyaltybuild Dominic Considine received half of the €25m up front.

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The balance was to be paid over a number of years, based on the firm meeting certain targets.

As 70pc shareholder, Mr Considine was the biggest beneficiary, pocketing about €8.5m up front from the sale.

Mr Lyne, who owned 25pc of the business, earned about €3m initially, while Mr Slattery received about €600,000.

However, the company never recovered from the cyber attack on November 13, 2013.

As a result of the attack, the Data Protection Commissioner slapped a prohibition order on the firm that stopped it from operating in Ireland for a period of time.

The incident at the firm involved the breach of personal data of 1.5 million individuals, including 376,000 whose full credit card data was compromised.

The company's Irish business was put out of action for seven months in 2014, costing the business millions of euro in lost revenues.

No party was ever identified or brought to court for the cyber attack.  

The firm no longer has a presence in Ennis, and 2018 accounts filed by Loyaltybuild Ltd confirm that the Irish trade of the business was sold on October 26, 2018.

During 2018, prior to the sale, the company's Irish trade recorded losses of €1.59m, and this followed losses of €2m during 2017.

The company's Irish business had net assets of €962,000 at the date of the €50,000 sale, resulting in Loyaltybuild recording a loss of €949,000 on the sale after legal costs.

Irish Independent

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