Technology firm Blue Prism agrees new £1.2bn takeover bid from SS&C Technologies
- Blue Prism investors are being offered 1,275p per share under the new proposal
- SS&C is the biggest private equity and hedge fund administrator in the world
- Blue Prism develops – and helped pioneer – robotic process automation
Software developer Blue Prism has accepted a £1.2billion takeover approach by American fintech giant SS&C Technologies.
Under the new proposal, Blue Prism shareholders are being offered 1,275p per share, a 25p rise on the most recent bid from private equity firm Vista, and a premium of more than 50 per cent on the company’s closing share price on 27 August.
More than three-quarters of Blue Prism investors must now approve the latest offer, which is backed by the corporation’s board and is SS&C’s second proposal for the firm following a £12-per-share bid last month.
Tech powerhouse: Blue Prism develops – and helped pioneer – robotic process automation (RPA) software, a technology that allows firms to automate administrative tasks
SS&C, the world’s biggest private equity and hedge fund administrator, plans to incorporate the business with its intelligent automation platform, Chorus, and sell it to its vast customer base.
Headquartered in the US state of Connecticut, the group had been given until Thursday by the City’s Takeover Panel to make a formal offer or withdraw completely.
Should its new offer be accepted by shareholers, Blue Prism co-founders Alastair Bathgate and David Moss and chief executive and co-chairman Jason Kingdon are set to receive more than £150million in compensation from selling their shares.
Serial entrepreneur Kingdon said: ‘The combination ensures that we remain at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation and can continue to provide innovative products and services.’
He added: ‘The process the Blue Prism Board over the last five months has undertaken has been extensive, and we believe this offer represents strong, immediate value for our shareholders and benefits our wider stakeholders.’
Blue Prism develops – and helped pioneer – robotic process automation (RPA) software, a technology that allows firms to automate administrative tasks and its customers include major corporations such as IBM, Microsoft and Google.
Windfall: Blue Prism chairman and chief exec Jason Kingdon (pictured) has denied claims the firm was sold on the cheap
It initially revealed in late August following press speculation that it was in discussions with Vista and investment firm TPG Capital regarding a proposed takeover.
Vista then put a £1.1billion offer on the table, but this received a huge blowback from some major shareholders, including Coast Capital and Hawk Ridge Capital Management, who complained the bid was too low.
Charlotte Nichols, the Labour MP for Warrington, where Blue Prism is based, also heavily criticised the deal as it would potentially lead to many job losses in the town while handsomely remunerating senior executives.
‘A quick buck for short-term private equity sharks is bad luck for long-term committed employees and the jobs market in our town,’ she added.
Vista then upped its bid to £1.22billion, but Coast Capital objected again, and founding partner James Rastech accused the group’s management of presenting a ‘false and inconsistent narrative’ to investors.
SS&C founder and chief executive William Stone, whose net worth is estimated at $2.8billion, said his firm ‘has a long history of acquiring high-quality businesses and improving their revenue growth profile and cost structure’.
‘With SS&C’s management focus, global salesforce, talented development organisation, and significant capital resources, Blue Prism can reach new heights with their intelligent digital workforce.
‘The combination of Blue Prism’s market-leading RPA solutions, and SS&C’s top position in the financial services and healthcare industries, we believe, will yield significantly improved results.’
Shares in Blue Prism were up 2.4 per cent to £13.30 during the late morning today.