Cork-based identity verification company Trustev has been sold to US listed company TransUnion for about $44m. 

Under the terms of the deal, $21m in cash will be paid at the closing of the transaction and up to an additional $23m will be paid if Trustev reaches specified targets up to 2018. 

Trustev, founded by entrepreneur Pat Phelan, gathers information from a user's online presence along with other pieces of data to determine if they are who they claim to be.

TransUnion was already an investor in Trustev and the two companies had been working on developing anti-fraud solutions since 2014.

"TransUnion and Trustev have worked together on clever ways to factor in consumer data in our partnership, but it will be much easier as a combined company, as we create a robust network of identity data, and build new and innovative ways of spotting fraud directly on top of it," commented Trustev's CEO Pat Phelan.

He said that a large, experienced company like TransUnion brings great global resources to the table, and the two firms' combined strength and reach will better enable them to expand their team and service customers in more locations.

Trustev will continue to be based in Cork.

"With TransUnion’s large global reach and Trustev’s online technology, this is a very positive move for all of our customers,"  Pat Phelan added.