Blue Prism’s Shares Rise Above SS&C’s Agreed $1.6 Billion Bid

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(Bloomberg) -- Shares in Blue Prism Group Plc rose above the 1.24 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) offer from SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc., suggesting investors think the ongoing bidding war for the U.K. company is far from over.

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SS&C said it had agreed to acquire Blue Prism in a 1,275 pence-a-share offer, according to a statement Wednesday, following months of rival bidding with Vista Equity Partners.

Shares of Blue Prism advanced as much as 2% to 1,325 pence early in London trading Wednesday, the biggest move since Nov. 26.

Tradition Securities merger arbitrage analyst Gregory Lafitte said SS&C bid is a “good outcome” for shareholders, but still thinks the current offer price undervalues the potential and growth of Blue Prism.

Read More: Blue Prism analysts are expecting a bidding war

Blue Prism said in mid-December that it was reviewing a potential 1,200 pence-a-share offer from SS&C, which improved on an earlier bid from Vista at 1,125 pence a share.

Vista then raised it’s bid to a final recommended cash offer of 1,250. Blue Prism directors have now unanimously decided to withdraw their Vista recommendation.

Blue Prism develops software for enterprise customers, using machine learning, artificial intelligence and related tools that businesses can incorporate quickly into their own systems. It works with more than 2,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, according to the statement.

Such business have proved to be popular with private equity firms, which are drawn to the stable revenue streams their subscription models can generate. Bloomberg reported in November on Germany’s Software AG exploring a sale.

Read more: Software AG Said to Explore Sale of $3 Billion Tech Company

Blue Prism shareholders have also been lobbying for a higher bid. Its second-largest shareholder, Polygon Global Partners LLP, said the two bidders competing to take over the U.K. software company can afford to pay more.

Coast Capital founder James Rasteh, which owns about 3% of the group’s shares, said Blue Prism was “an absolute steal” at 1,200 pence a share.

The original bid from Vista represented a 35% premium to Blue Prism’s closing price of 832 pence on Aug. 27, the last full trading day before takeover interest in the company became public.

“The opportunity presented to combine Blue Prism with SS&C will bring us access to significant capital resources and investment in R&D alongside access to SS&C’s extensive 18,000 customers,” Jason Kingdon, chairman and chief executive officer of Blue Prism, said.

(Updates with shares, chart in 4th paragraph)

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