Blue Prism agrees $ 1.5 billion sale to non-public fairness agency Vista


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LONDON – British software company Blue Prism announced Tuesday that it had agreed to a deal to be taken over by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for £ 1.1 billion (US $ 1.5 billion) in cash.

Blue Prism, which specializes in software robots that automate repetitive tasks, said Vista would pay each shareholder £ 11.25 per share, a 35% mark-up on the company’s last closing price of £ 8.32.

It is the latest in a series of private equity deals for public software companies. Earlier this year, security firm Proofpoint agreed a $ 12.3 billion sale to Thoma Bravo, while Cloudera will be bought by KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Blue Prism is also among a number of UK companies that have caught the interest of US private equity investors. The supermarket chain Morrisons, the infrastructure company John Laing and the aerospace company Cobham have been the target of takeover bids in recent months.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Vista plans to indirectly transfer Blue Prism to portfolio company TIBCO, an enterprise data company.

“The combination with Vista and TIBCO will ensure we stay at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation,” said Jason Kingdon, Chairman and CEO of Blue Prism.

“We can expand the range of products we offer our customers with TIBCO’s global presence and technology; and as a privately held company, we also have better access to capital to capitalize on new growth opportunities through product investments and other potential M&A.”

The price of Blue Prism represents a significant discount from US competitors such as UiPath, the New York-listed company with a market capitalization of $ 28 billion, and Automation Anywhere, which was most recently privately valued at $ 6.8 billion .

Blue Prism’s shares fell 2.6% Tuesday morning.

Activist investor Coast Capital expressed concern about the company’s valuation amid speculation about a takeover by private equity buyers.

However, Coast, which owns approximately 3% of Blue Prism, recently voted in favor of an acquisition.

“Coast will support any business that offers the company the best opportunity to improve its prospects,” company founder James Ratesh told Bloomberg last week.

– CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this report.