£3.5m takeover of Derry firm Opt2Vote

Ann-Marie Slavin - founder of Opt2Vote.

Ann-Marie Slavin - founder of Opt2Vote.

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Derry software firm Opt2Vote has been sold to an leading international company for around £3.5m

IDOX, a leading independent supplier of software and services, completed the takeover of the local company on Tuesday.

Opt2Vote provides expertise and knowledge across all areas of election management and specialises in the provision of managed services solutions and innovation in areas such as e-counting and early voting. It supplies electronic vote counting solutions to the 32 Scottish local authorities as well as managed print services to UK councils. IDOX will pay an initial consideration of £2.7m, with a further payment of £0.8m in 2013 dependent on the achievement of certain financial performance conditions.

Opt2Vote reported revenue of £3.6m and operating profit of £0.5m in the financial year to the end of June 2011 and on completion will have £0.6m of cash.

Opt2Vote Managing Director Ann-Marie Slavin - who founded the firm in 2002 - told the ‘Journal’ she was delighted to announce the sale. “Since its formation, OPT2VOTE has been at the forefront of innovation in elections management and it has been a privilege to lead a team of professionals to bring the company to the point of acquisition. I am proud to say that all of my team will be joining me in IDOX and our business will continue to operate from our Derry office.”

Commenting on the move, Richard Kellett-Clarke, CEO of Idox said: “The acquisition of Opt2Vote further cements our strategy to deliver a broad range of democratic software solutions and managed services at a key time for local authorities, we already understand the efficiency gains able to be delivered by Opt2Vote’s managed print services and the successful outcomes of the Scottish e-counting pilots which will be used live in the forthcoming local elections.”

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the acquisition “is a further illustration of the innovation, skills, and entrepreneurial flair of our local companies”

Foyle SDLP MLA, Colum Eastwood, welcomed the Opt2Vote takeover as “a great example of local success and innovation”.