US investor pays €21m for 40% of Cork software firm

US investor pays €21m for 40% of Cork software firm

Geoff Percival

US private equity firm Motive Partners has reached agreement to acquire a 40% stake in Cork-based specialist technology company Global Shares for an estimated $25m (€21.3m).

The New York-based fintech-focused investor is also partnering with the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to collaborate on identifying further fintech investment opportunities for the State body. It is understood ISIF is investing €25m in Motive.

The Global Shares investment is expected to formally complete in the fourth quarter. The Clonakilty-based company — which develops web-based software solutions for companies to automate the administration of their employee equity plans — has seen dramatic growth of late, with revenue rising 60% last year. More than 250 companies, with employees in over 100 countries, use the Cork company’s cloud-based platform to manage their employee share plans.

CEO Tim Houstoun said the investment will help fast-track its growth plans.

“Now we have the investment we need to intensify our recruitment drive, support our growing operation and fast-track the development of more new software while putting Global Shares centre stage in the equity compensation industry. We are ripe for further global expansion,” he said.

“Global Shares is positioned for strong continued growth, and we are committed to supporting the management team in delivering its business plan by extending access to our global network and expertise,” said Motive Partners director Andy Stewart.

The share plan administration market is estimated to be over $2bn in revenue per annum and is forecast to grow at 5% per year.

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