Bid battle looms as UK's Blue Prism gets $1.6 billion offer from SS&C
(Reuters) – U.S.-based SS&C Technologies has made a 1.16 billion pound ($1.56 billion) takeover approach to Blue Prism, topping an agreed deal between the British robotics software firm and Vista, and sparking speculation of a bidding war.
London-listed Blue Prism’s shares jumped roughly 10% to 1,239 pence on Tuesday, above the proposed 1,200 pence per share offer from SS&C.
Blue Prism, whose customers include automaker Daimler, e-commerce firm eBay and Britain’s National Health Service, agreed in September to be taken over by U.S. private equity firm Vista Equity for 1.09 billion pounds.
The British firm said on Tuesday it continued to back the Vista deal.
However, it added it was allowing SS&C access to its books and had postponed a shareholder meeting, that was due to vote on the Vista deal on Friday, while it evaluates SS&C’s offer with its advisers.
A firm offer from SS&C was not guaranteed, Blue Prism said in a statement.
Activist investor Coast Capital, which holds about a 2.8% stake in Blue Prism, said it supported SS&C’s proposal as the Connecticut-based company was more “suitable” than Vista or TIBCO – Vista’s business intelligence software company that would be combined with Blue Prism if that deal goes through.
U.S.-based Coast objected to the Vista deal in September, saying the sale process was flawed and that it believed there were conflicts of interest. Blue Prism defended the deal, saying it was better than remaining a standalone firm.
“It is shocking to see that the board continues to endorse Vista’s bid,” Coast founding partner James Rasteh said in a statement on Tuesday.
($1 = 0.7440 pounds)
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