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Version 1 to raise €15m to help fund buyouts of rival IT firms


VERSION 1: Justin Keatinge

VERSION 1: Justin Keatinge

VERSION 1: Justin Keatinge

Fast-Growing tech firm Version 1 is to raise €15m in funds within a year to help fund its ever-growing list of tech acquisitions.

The Dublin-based IT services company employs more than 600 people including 150 in the UK and has bought five companies since 2013, the most recent being Birmingham IT consultancy Patech Solutions in a deal estimated to be worth between €5m and €10m. Version 1 is now set to take on 100 staff in 2015, the majority of whom will be based in Ireland.

CEO Justin Keatinge says that the company is now starting a ten year plan which he hopes will see the firm grow its revenue from an estimated €50m last year to €500m, with €70m being the revenue target set for 2015.

Mr Keatinge says that Version 1 is planning on buying one company a year on average to help it fuel its rapid growth, and is now looking at raising €15m to fund its next buy. The company is mainly looking at purchases in the UK, although Mr Keatinge says that it may look at buys further afield in the future.

He added that he was unsure how the money will be raised, saying that the company is considering a variety of different sources including raising money from development funds or from private backers. The firm raised €8m from the BDO Development Capital Fund in July, the first company to do so, and may look at development funding again.

"We raised €8m from development capital, Goodbody advised us on that and we'll get Goodbody to advise us on the next round of funding. It could come from another fund or it could come from private sources, we don't know yet but we'll probably raise €15m in the next round [and] look ing at institutional investors as well", he said, adding that he hopes that the money will be raised within the next 12 months.

Regarding an IPO, Mr Keatinge says that it remains a possibility, but will be purely down to whether the company can raise capital by itself.

"We've had talks with various stock exchanges. If we list it will be with AIM in the UK and the ISE but we haven't decided yet," he said. "Assuming no market issues it's down to whether we can raise money privately on the terms we want then we will do so, otherwise we will IPO."

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