HomeBussinessCanadian firm buys Irish aviation company in €57m deal

Canadian firm buys Irish aviation company in €57m deal


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Irish company Aerospace Software Developments (ASD) has been bought by Canadian firm Descartes Systems Group in a deal worth €57 million.

ASD, which trades as Thyme-IT, was founded in 2004 by Dave Browne, Adam Fitzsimons, John Wallace and Stephen Breen.

It provides customs and excise software solutions for importers and exporters in Ireland, the UK and Europe, as well as radio-frequency identification for the aviation sector to help to track assets and RFID-tagged components.

Dave Browne ASD’s managing director, said the company was “very happy to be working with Descartes, it’s a super organisation and it brings us to the next stage in our evolution” in response to questions from The Irish Times.

He said the company is “now in a position to grow even further and become a truly global player”.

Browne, Wallace, Breen and Fitzsimons had met in the 1990s while working on developing a maintenance and repair application in Dublin Airport and later came together again to create Aerospace Software Developments.

Browne said that ASD had grown in size since Brexit, from 10 employees to a current position of 30. He said he expected the company to grow its headcount in the coming years.

The most recent accounts for ASD, for the year ending December 2022, did not disclose annual revenues for the company, but showed that it made a profit for the year of €1.4 million. That brought its accumulated profits of just over €3 million. It had cash in the bank of around €3.2 million, and its debtors owed it €1.4 million.

ASD “is highly complementary to our current product footprint,” Ken Wood, executive vice-president of product management at Descartes, said in a statement. The company offers “deep Irish customs domain expertise and a modern multi-country customs technology platform”, as well as synergies in their airline business, he added.

Logistics business Descarte is based in Ontario, Canada, and had annual revenues last year of $572.9 million (€535.7 million), up from $486 million (€455 million) the year before. It had net income for the year it had earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation of $247.5 million (€231 million), up from $215.2 million (€201 million) the year before.

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