Belfast-based Options Technology is to create 150 new highly-skilled jobs in the city over the next 18 months in a move that almost doubles its workforce.

The news comes as the company announced the acquisition of Activ Financial for an undisclosed sum.

Options is headed by Danny Moore, who previously led Belfast-based trading technology firm Wombat Financial Software, a company that was acquired by NYSE Euronext for $200 million (€171.6 million) in 2008.

Originally founded in 1993 as a hedge fund technology services provider, Options now offers a range of IT services to organisations in the financial services space, including trading infrastructure and telemetry analytics.

No financial details regarding the deal for Active have been publicly disclosed but industry analysts estimated it to have been north of $100 million.

Options said hiring for the new roles would begin immediately.

Active Financial is a global provider of financial market data. Mr Moore said merging the Activ data feed and software capabilities on top of the Options global network and infrastructure “is probably the most impactful deal in the sector in the last decade”.

“The Activ acquisition will mean further growth for Options, and we are delighted to be able to leverage the highly-skilled talent pool in Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland, as we continue to grow our engineering and technical support capabilities,” Mr Moore said.

Options last year secured an investment worth more than $100 million from Boston-based private equity firm Abry Partners. This is in addition to a similar investment from New York-based private equity firm Bregal Sagemount in late 2017.