Clearwater International advises on the Management Buy-Out of Version 1, backed by Volpi Capital

Clearwater Advisor

Clearwater International has acted as exclusive financial advisor to Irish IT services firm Version 1 and Volpi Capital on the management buy-out of one of Western Europe’s fastest growing IT services companies. This transaction, Volpi Capital’s largest to date, sees the London-based private equity firm invest €90m of equity for a significant stake in Version 1.

Version 1 is an IT services business, founded in 1996 by Justin Keatinge and John Mullen, and is one of Ireland’s biggest technology success stories. The funding, which is Version 1’s second round of private equity investment, will drive phase two of the company’s ambitious international growth plan. Version 1 will further expand into the UK and Europe, through both organic growth and developmental acquisitions, with the intention of doubling in size over the next three years. The business will deliver revenues in excess of €100m this year.

The investment will see all of the original shareholders stay on with the exception of its first round investor, Development Capital, who have successfully exited as part of this deal, two years earlier than originally anticipated. Founders Justin Keatinge and John Mullen will remain as Board members with former COO, Tom O’Connor, taking up the role of CEO.

The Clearwater International team was led by John Sheridan with support from Associate Cian McComb.

“We have been working closely with John and his team on this transaction over the past year. In Volpi Capital, Clearwater International found an investor with values that are fully aligned to Version 1’s core values and we believe that Volpi is an excellent fit for the next phase of the company’s growth. We would like to thank the Clearwater team for negotiating a strong result for the shareholders and for working tirelessly to ensure the transaction completed on time.”

Justin Keatinge, Founder, Version 1

“Volpi Capital back ambitious management teams in high growth companies and in Version 1, we certainly have found that. We are very excited to be partnering with the management team as we set out to achieve Version 1’s growth plans in the coming years. Clearwater International was central in structuring the transaction and managing all stakeholders’ interests, our thanks to John and Cian for their involvement throughout the process.”

Crevan O’Grady, Partner, Volpi Capital

“We are delighted to have advised Version 1 and Volpi Capital on the transaction. The deal represents a deserved return on the shareholders’ investment in the business over the past 20 years and we have no doubt that Crevan and the Volpi team will be invaluable to the management team in realising the next phase of Version 1’s growth plans.”

John Sheridan, Partner, Clearwater International