American investment firm drops out of billion-pound bidding war for technology group

Blue Prism chairman and chief executive Jason Kingdon

The £1.2bn bidding war for technology group Blue Prism appears to be over after Vista Equity Partners declined to increase its offer.

Vista, an American software and data investment firm, had made the first bid for Blue Prism in September, agreeing a deal at £1.10bn.

In early November SS&C Technologies, which is an American business specialising in financial services technology, started discussions about a £1.17bn bid, which was followed by an increased and final £1.22bn bid from Vista.

But last week SS&C agreed a 1,275p-per-share deal with Blue Prism’s board, 150p higher than Vista’s opening bid, that now priced the group at £1.24bn.

Warrington-based Blue Prism, which emmploys around 1,000 people, has recommended shareholders approve SS&C’s bid when a vote is held.

It has this morning issued a statement confirming that Vista had four days from the announcement of SS&C’s competing and superior offer to revoke its previous statement that it would not increase its bid, but that time had now passed.

It said: “No such announcement has been made by Vista and, accordingly, the increased Vista Offer is final and cannot be increased.”

Investors had been hoping for the bidding war to continue. Blue Prism’s share price closed last night at 1,313p, which gives the business a market value of £1.28bn.

However the current SS&C bid still represents a 53% increase on Blue Prism’s share price from before Vista’s first bid was revealed.

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