August 7, 2022

Blue Prism says yes to US rival’s £1.2bn offer but deal faces review

Blue Prism says yes to £1.2bn offer from US rival but deal faces probe under new national security act

The takeover of British tech star Blue Prism is likely to be investigated by the Government next year under new investment laws.

The company yesterday accepted a £1.24billion offer from American financial technology group SS&C.

That trumped a £1.22billion bid from US private equity vulture Vista Equity Partners. 

Windfalls: Blue Prism’s three bosses are in line to make more than £150m from the sale – with chief executive and chairman Jason Kingdon  (pictured) standing to make £75m alone

Blue Prism’s three bosses are in line to make more than £150million from the sale, with chief executive and chairman Jason Kingdon standing to make £75million.

But Business Department officials are ‘monitoring’ the deal, the Mail understands. 

And Blue Prism’s expertise in artificial intelligence technology means it is likely to be scrutinised under the National Security and Investment Act, which comes into force in January.

The act is aimed at preventing takeovers in strategic industries which could compromise national security. It can also secure greater protections for firms that are sold.

Warrington-based Blue Prism provides technology that does tasks such as fulfilling customer orders and submitting expense claims.

Clients include HSBC, Barclays and O2-owner Telefonica.

Blue Prism pioneered robotic process automation in the 2000s, and is the biggest player in the field in the UK. But it faces stiff competition from the US.

It agreed a 1125p per share takeover with Vista in September, valuing it at £1.1billion.

Vista last week raised its bid to 1250p. But yesterday this was trumped by a 1,275p offer from SS&C, which provides software to financial firms including hedge funds and private equity.

Activist hedge fund Coast Capital, with 3 per cent of Blue Prism, had blasted the Vista deal. 

Fund founding partner James Rasteh said: ‘The acquisition by SS&C is a great outcome for us, and more importantly for the talented staff at Blue Prism, who stand to team up with a visionary management team.’

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