Blue Prism approves £1.1bn takeover offer from Vista Equity Partners

28 Sep 2021

Image: © Postmodern Studio/Stock.adobe.com

The RPA software company has attracted attention from multiple US private equity outfits in recent weeks.

Robotic process automation (RPA) company Blue Prism has approved a £1.1bn takeover offer from US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners.

The offer of £11.25 per share, which the company’s board will recommend that shareholders take, represents about a 33pc premium on UK-based Blue Prism’s opening price this morning (28 September) of £8.45.

Future Human

Blue Prism’s board, which plans to unanimous endorse the deal, described it as “fair and reasonable”. Pending acceptance by shareholders, the deal is expected to close later this year or in the first quarter of 2022.

The company has attracted attention from multiple US private equity outfits in the last few weeks, with TPG Capital also conducting discussions. Ultimately, of the two Texas-based firms, Vista won out. The competition caused Blue Prism’s share price to climb more than 39pc earlier this month.

Blue Prism has been listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM sub-market since 2016, and has a client book of more than 2,000 companies that includes the UK’s National Health Service, eBay, Siemens, 3M and Jaguar Land Rover.

The company is one of the biggest players in the RPA market, competing with the likes of UiPath to provide corporate clients with software to automate administrative and other digital tasks.

Vista is a large firm with about $81bn of assets under management, focusing on enterprise software and data services. It plans to combine Blue Prism with Tibco, a software company it bought in 2014 for $4.3bn.

Vista has said it believes merging the companies “will yield significant synergies and market differentiation, combining the product and R&D investment of the two businesses”.

Commenting on the deal, Blue Prism CEO and chair Jason Kingdon said: “Blue Prism has become a leading player in the RPA sector since it was founded in 2001, when it first pioneered the technology.

“Vista and Tibco recognise the strength of what we have built and the exceptional products and services we provide our customers. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of all Blue Prism team members over the years. Combining with Vista and Tibco will ensure we remain at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation.”

Blue Prism also said that it was in the process of separating the roles of CEO and chair. The company has reportedly begun searching for a new CEO.

Monti Saroya, senior managing director at Vista, added: “Vista is a leading investor in RPA technologies and views the acquisition of Blue Prism and combination with Tibco as an exciting and transformational moment for the growth of enterprise-grade intelligent automation and RPA.”

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com