Cork-based digital security firm started by a former-butcher sells for $44m

The deal is likely to create new jobs in Ireland

Trustev, the Cork-based digital verification and security company, founded just three years ago has confirmed it’s being sold to the Chicago-based credit rating company, TransUnion for up to $44m (€40m).

The two principal shareholders in Trustev are Cork-based Chris Kennedy and Pat Phelan, who started his career as a butcher and a chef.

US-based TransUnion will pay $21m in cash and up to $23m if the fraud-prevention company meets certain targets between now and 2018.

Mr Phelan, who is also Chief Executive, says TransUnion, which has operations in more than 30 countries, has committed to turning Trustev’s Cork base into a European Centre of Excellence, creating a number of jobs over the coming months.

Trustev verifies the identity of online shoppers by scanning social media accounts to create a digital fingerprint for individuals.

“As fraud grows in volume and sophistication, TransUnion continues to invest in building our global capabilities to help companies manage their risk,” Jim Peck, TransUnion’s president and chief executive officer said commenting on the deal.

Mr Phelan, added that it will create "a very powerful combination of software intelligence and rich data to stop online fraud."