Thursday 19 April 2018

First Derivatives completes purchase of Cognotec for €3.4m

Thomas Molloy

NEWRY-based financial software firm First Derivatives has bought collapsed Dublin-based Cognotec from the receivers for €3.4m.

The move marks the final chapter in the 19-year history of Cognotec, which was set up by controversial businessman Brian Maccaba and hailed as one of the country's great technology hopes during the 1990s.

First Derivatives said that it completed the purchase of Cognotec yesterday after talks with the company's receiver, Kieran Wallace of KPMG. Cognotec, which employs around 65 people, makes foreign exchange trading products but ran into problems when one of its customers cancelled a major project in 2008. A receiver was named last month following an application from Barclays Bank (Ireland), which is owed €6.5m.

Founded five years after Cognotec, AIM and IEX-listed First Derivatives provides software and consulting services to the investment banking and derivatives industries and has expanded through a series of acquisitions over the years. It employs 400 people.

"We are delighted with this news, as Cognotec's business, its people and its product portfolio have always been highly regarded in the FX world. That is why it has secured a global client base of leading banks and brokers," First Derivatives chief executive, Brian Conlon said yesterday.

"First Derivatives share many of these global clients and we have a strong track record of success in delivering technology solutions to the capital markets industry."

Cognotec was launched by Dublin-born Jewish convert Mr Maccaba, who lost a 41-day court case in 2004 when he sued a rabbi alleging sexual slurs had been made against him. The failed court case left Mr Maccaba with legal bills of around £2m.

Irish Independent

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