Private equity, Content, Channel technologies

Vista Acquiring Blue Prism RPA Software; Plans Tibco Merger

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is acquiring robotic process automation (RPA) software company Blue Prism Group for $1.5 billion, and plans to merge Blue Prism into Tibco Software. Vista has owned Tibco since 2014.

Jason Kingdon, CEO, Blue Prism
Jason Kingdon, CEO, Blue Prism

This is technology M&A deal number 595 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021.

Blue Prism competes against Automation Anywhere, UiPath 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.

What Is RPA Software?

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.

Blue Prism-Tibco: Potential Merger Synergies

In a statement about the M&A deal, Blue Prism described the potential synergies with Tibco.

For starters, Blue Prism said, Tibco is a "leading player in the enterprise data space, providing integration, data management and analytics software that makes it possible to unlock the potential of real-time data for making faster, smarter decisions."

According to the statement, the proposed Blue Prism-Tibco business combination:

  • "will yield significant synergies and market differentiation, combining the product and R&D investment of the two businesses."
  • Vista "believes that Blue Prism would benefit from the opportunity to gain access to Tibco's large global blue-chip enterprise customers to increase their penetration within the world's largest customers, as well as benefiting from greater access to long term capital under private ownership."
  • Vista also "believes that Tibco's existing business would benefit from the opportunity to market a broader product offering to existing and new customers."
  • Plus, "Tibco brings great depth of knowledge in multiple industries including manufacturing, energy and transportation which Blue Prism also serves today."
  • Furthermore, "Tibco will expand Blue Prism's technological advantage by providing access to industry-leading technologies. These synergies will present significant opportunities to deliver both Tibco and Blue Prism's products to each other's installed base."

Vista Equity, Blue Prism and Tibco: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, Blue Prism CEO Jason Kingdon said:

"Blue Prism has become a leading player in the RPA sector since it was founded in 2001, when it first pioneered the technology. We have made excellent progress in creating a company with a robust global customer base and rapid revenue growth - rising from £6 million when we listed in 2015 to an expected reported revenue of over £160 million this year. Vista and TIBCO recognise the strength of what we have built and the exceptional products and services we provide our customers. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of all Blue Prism team members over the years. Combining with Vista and TIBCO will ensure we remain at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation: we can expand the range of products we offer our customers, with TIBCO's global footprint and technologies; and, as a privately owned company, we will also have greater access to capital to pursue new growth opportunities via product investment and other potential M&A."

Monti Saroya, Vista Equity Partners

Added Monti Saroya, senior managing director at Vista and co-head of the Vista Flagship Fund:

"Vista is a leading investor in Robotic Process Automation technologies and views the acquisition of Blue Prism and combination with TIBCO as an exciting and transformational moment for the growth of enterprise-grade Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation. We are pleased to extend this offer for Blue Prism and believe the combination will yield significant synergies and market differentiation, combining the product and R&D investment of the two businesses and enabling the marketing of a broader product offering to existing and new customers."

Concluded Tibco CEO Dan Streetman:

"Enterprise Intelligent Automation is becoming an integral component for driving digital transformation and the offer to acquire Blue Prism and its subsequent integration within the TIBCO Connected Intelligence platform is something that we look forward to executing for the benefit of our customers and partners. Together, Blue Prism and TIBCO will provide access to a suite of Intelligent Automation capabilities to help accelerate digital transformation."

Vista Equity: Acquire-and-Merge Experience

Vista Equity Partners has extensive experience buying midsize technology businesses and merging them into existing portfolio companies.

For instance, Vista acquired and merged Datto into Autotask, another portfolio company, in October 2017. The deal positioned Datto more aggressively against ConnectWise, Kaseya and N-able in the IT automation, management and data protection market for MSPs. Fast forward to present day, and the combined business -- known as Datto -- is now publicly held and Vista remains a major investor in the company.

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.