The Waterford-based mobile software company, FeedHenry, has been bought for €63.5m in cash by Red Hat, a US multinational software firm.
The company, which develops mobile internet technology that allows big companies to create specialist mobile applications, was founded by Waterford-based serial startup entrepreneur Barry Downes. It now has 70 people in Waterford, the UK and the US.
The deal will see a number of shareholders benefit, including chief executive Cathal McGloin and other management in the firm. Employees are also set to benefit, as will minor shareholders Enterprise Ireland and the Waterford Institute of Technology.
The firm’s principal shareholders include Intel Capital, Kernel Capital and ACT Venture Capital. Software firm VMWare also had a shareholding.
FeedHenry will remain in Waterford, chief executive Cathal McGloin told The Irish Independent.
“Red Hat guys have a great track record in finding technologies and helping them develop where tehy are,” he said. “ We’re excited about their commitment working with us in Waterford. And we can see potential down the road for expanding.”
A recent investment research report by Forrester calculated that the value of the mobile apps market would grow to €28bn by 2015.
"We won a €2m deal some weeks ago and we're starting to see lots of deals come along," said McGloin last month. "We're beating companies like SAP and IBM. There's a huge transition from desktop to mobile underway. We have solutions, which is why we're now partnering with huge companies like VMWare, Rackspace and HP."
FeedHenry makes 'cloud mobile application platforms' for big companies. This serves organisations that can't make do with general apps available for the general public, who turn to Feedhenry for high-end, specialised tools to let companies develop their own solutions.
“The mobile application platform is one of the fastest growing segments of the enterprise software market,” said Craig Muzilla, senior vice president of Red Hat.
“As mobile devices have penetrated into every aspect of enterprise computing, enterprise software customers are looking for easier and more efficient ways for their developers to build mobile applications that extend and enhance traditional enterprise applications. FeedHenry will help us enable customers to take advantage of the capabilities of mobile with the security, scalability, and reliability of Red Hat enterprise software."