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Blue Prism Buyout: SS&C Wins RPA Software Bidding War vs. Vista Equity

The bidding war for robotic process automation (RPA) software provider Blue Prism Group apparently is over. Hedge fund and private equity administrator SS&C Technologies apparently has won the battle to buy Blue Prism, after private equity firm Vista Equity Partners declined to up its bid for the RPA software company.

Here's a timeline tracking the rival bids to acquire Blue Prism:

  • September 28, 2021: Vista Equity Partners announced plan to buy Blue Prism for $1.5 billion.
  • Mid-November 2021: SS&C Technologies bid $1.56 billion for Blue Prism.
  • November 25, 2021: Vista Equity Partners bid $1.63 billion for Blue Prism.
  • December 1, 2021: SS&C Technologies bid $1.65 billion for Blue Prism.
  • December 8, 2021: Vista Equity failed to make a counter bid within a required four-day window, Blue Prism said.

Translation? The bidding war apparently is over -- and SS&C is the apparent victor.

Before dropping out of the bidding war, Vista Equity had planned to merge Blue Prism into Tibco Software. Vista has owned Tibco since 2014. Now, those plans apparently have been scrapped.

Blue Prism Software and RPA Software Market

Blue Prism competes against Automation AnywhereUiPath and Microsoft Power Automate in the RPA software market — which has generated strong M&A activity. Key buyers in the RPA sector include IBMMicrosoftSalesforce and ServiceNow.

More than 2,000 businesses leverage Blue Prism’s software for workforce automation capabilities. Blue Prism’s valuation was roughly $1.11 billion before word of the M&A discussions emerged in early September 2021.

RPA software allows businesses to write code and bots that rapidly automate manual tasks across multiple departments — from IT service desks to HR, finance, customer support and more.

The global RPA software market is expected to reach $13.74 billion by 2028, up from $1.57 billion in 2020. The market’s compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2028 is expected to be 32.8%, Grand View Research predicts.

Much of the RPA software industry focuses on enterprise customers. Still, RPA may even eventually catch on in the SMB market as MSPs seek to further automate internal and customer operations. Key RPA software providers in the MSP and SMB market include ElectroNeek and Rewst.

Blue Prism Software Buyout: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the SS&C deal, Blue Prism CEO Jason Kingdon said in early December 2021:

"Blue Prism was an early pioneer in building the RPA sector and today is a market leader, working with over 2,000 organisations worldwide. While as a standalone enterprise we have built an impressive business, 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. The combination ensures that we remain at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation and can continue to provide innovative products and services. SS&C also recognises the hard work of the Blue Prism team over the years and understands the value of the skills, experience and commitment of our employees. The process the Blue Prism Board over the last five months has undertaken has been extensive, and we believe this offer represents strong, immediate value for our shareholders and benefits our wider stakeholders."

Added Bill Stone, Chairman and CEO of SS&C:

"A core part of SS&C's value proposition is to drive efficiencies for our customers, and Blue Prism is another lever for our customers to gain those efficiencies. In conjunction with Chorus, SS&C's intelligent automation system, Blue Prism will accelerate value delivery through automation of increasingly complex tasks. Blue Prism will also be able to be used internally across our company to further optimize our operating models in some of our core services and corporate functions that will help deliver more value to our customers and shareholders. SS&C has a long history of acquiring high quality businesses and improving their revenue growth profile and cost structure. With SS&C's management focus, global salesforce, talented development organization, and significant capital resources, Blue Prism can reach new heights with their intelligent digital workforce. The combination of Blue Prism's market leading RPA solutions, and SS&C's top position in the financial services and healthcare industries, we believe, will yield significantly improved results."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.