Blue Prism insists £1.1bn takeover is ‘good value’ for shareholders after investor revolt

Blue Prism has responded to a letter from activist investor Coast Capital encouraging shareholders to reject Vista’s 1,125 pence-per-share offer, which it said “vastly undervalues” the listed company.

Coast, which owns about 3 million Blue Prism shares, said the £1.1bn takeover by Vista Equity Partners leads “shareholders to question the board’s clear conflict of interest in unanimously supporting a transaction which values the company materially below consensus valuation, 52-week high, and its average price since IPO.”

Responding to the letter, the automation firm said the Vista offer represents a 35% premium to the closing share price on 27 August 2021 – which was the last business day before the offer period commenced.

It said the Board’s decision to recommend the Vista Offer “reflects its belief that the Vista Offer provides greater value and less risk than Blue Prism’s current standalone prospects and potential standalone alternatives.”

It also added that while Coast has indicated in its letter that it has “communicated the operational improvement plan developed with sector experts and prior management team members over several months”, it said Coast has not yet provided the group with a detailed plan.

Blue Prism also addressed the conflict of interest concerns relating to Vista, TIBCO or the Vista Offer adding that its executive team “has not had any discussions or entered into any agreements” with Vista or TIBCO regarding ongoing participation in the management of the company or future incentivisation arrangements.

In a market update this morning, the company said: “Blue Prism Board has determined that the Acquisition is in the best interests of Blue Prism shareholders, immediately delivering certain value without the execution risks associated with the necessary strategic investments envisaged.

“The Board appreciates the constructive feedback it has received from Blue Prism shareholders and looks forward to further engagement with investors in the coming weeks.”