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Raider Furlong hikes his Datalex stake

CORPORATE raider Nick Furlong's Pageant Holdings upped its stake in the Dermot Desmond-backed travel software company Datalex last week.

Pageant Holdings now controls almost 8 per cent of the firm. Last month, the investment company was also in the market, buying up shares in Datalex. Since May this year, Pageant has almost trebled its stake in the IT firm.

Desmond's IIU Nominees held a near 29 per cent stake in Datalex, according to the most recent annual report.

Datalex is the second listed Irish software company arousing Pageant's interest. It is the largest shareholding in smartphone app designer Zamano, having built up a 22 per cent stake over the last year.

Pageant Holdings signed one of the biggest cheques when Xtravision was taken over in 2009 in a €32m deal. Pageant and NCB clients bankrolled the deal. Furlong's investment company -- run with Peter O'Grady Walsh -- recently bagged a major windfall when smartphone app designer DRG was sold in a €7m deal. Pageant had one of the major investors in the company -- founded just two years ago.

Furlong made a fortune when selling his video game distribution firm Pilton on to DCC in 2005 for around €42m. He invested in a number of major property schemes, through his Melcorpo firm.

Low-key Swiss investor Farringdon Capital Management also doubled its stake in the last week and now owns a 5.35 per cent chunk of the listed company. Datalex was set up by internet pioneer Neil Wilson, floating in 2000. The company was worth close to €400m in the dotcom boom.

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