Now two US private equity firms eye a bid for little-known £1bn UK tech firm
The founders of a little-known British software firm are set to pocket millions
The founders of a little-known British software firm are set to pocket millions after their business became the latest to be targeted by private equity predators.
Blue Prism, set up in 2001 to provide software to customers including Waitrose, Jaguar Land Rover, Ebay and the NHS to automate back-office tasks, is in talks with TPG Capital and Vista Equity Partners.
Co-founders Alastair Bathgate and David Moss together own 6pc of Blue Prism, a stake now worth £64m after shares soared 32.2pc, or 268p, to 1100p on news of the talks. Jason Kingdon, an entrepreneur who was an early investor and is now its chief executive, also owns a 6pc stake.
Blue Prism listed on London’s junior stock market Aim, に 2016. Waitrose used its tech to manage promotions in supermarkets. And the firm helped Jaguar Land Rover identify where it could cut costs, and create sales opportunities.
Blue Prism said both TPG and Vista were in talks regarding ‘possible offers’, implying that the two US private equity firms could go on to fight a bidding war. It did not disclose the price each firm was weighing but the rise in the share price values the company at £1.1bn.
The suitors have until September 28 to announce a firm intention to make an offer, or walk away. Other London-listed businesses in the crosshairs of US private equity include Morrisons, Ultra Electronics and Meggitt, and the likes of Aggreko, St Modwen Properties and G4S have already been snapped up.