SS&C Technologies enters bidding war for Blue Prism
SS&C Technologies, a US provider of financial services software, has offered a £ 1.2 billion offer to UK robotics software maker Blue Prism, as bidding war with US private equity group Vista Equity Partners is accelerating.
SS&C’s offer would give each Blue Prism shareholder 1,275 pa share, a 53.2% premium over the closing price of 832 pence on August 27, the last business day before the first disclosure of the sale negotiations. He values Blue Prism’s equity at around £ 1.24 billion.
SS&C’s offer is greater than Vista’s 1,250pa share purchase offer announced a week ago. Vista’s price was a 35% premium to Blue Prism’s closing price in August, but less than half of its all-time high three years ago, when the company was valued at £ 2 billion.
The increased offer from Texas-based Vista came after Blue Prism accepted its initial 1,125pa cash share offer in September for the Warrington-based process automation technology provider, whose customers include Fidelity, Daimler, eBay and the NHS.
Vista’s plans included removing a tenth of the combined group’s 4,750 employees. Blue Prism has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide. Vista, in its agreement, reserved the right to increase the price of its offer in the event of a “possible offer or offer for Blue Prism by a third party”, including SS&C.
Blue Prism directors consider SS&C’s latest offer to be “fair and reasonable” and intend to tell investors to support it. They have withdrawn their recommendation from the Vista offer.
A buyout of Blue Prism would end five years as a state-owned company for the 20-year-old UK software group. Founded in 2001, Blue Prism began trading on Aim with a market capitalization of £ 48.5million in March 2016, having recorded annual sales for 2015 of £ 6million.
This is the latest overseas acquisition of a London-listed tech group this year. In August, cybersecurity firm Avast struck an $ 8 billion deal with NortonLifeLock.