UK robotic process automation company Blue Prism has agreed to a £1.1 billion US takeover.

Shareholders will be asked to vote on an offer of 1,125 pence per share from US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners for Blue Prism, one of the largest tech firms on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market.

The offer represents a 35.2% premium on the closing share price a month ago when the offer period commenced.

Earlier this year, shareholders blocked the appointment of a new CEO and chairman, causing Blue Prism to invite meetings with senior shareholders – many of whom then urged the board to explore a sale.

A leading player in automation of back office tasks for enterprise companies, Blue Prism has users globally in more than 2,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 companies.

However, the Warrington-headquartered company has seen its share price dip 30% this year and has come under fire in recent times for a perceived lack of investment in future products.

“Blue Prism has become a leading player in the RPA sector since it was founded in 2001, when it first pioneered the technology,” said Jason Kingdon, an early investor in Blue Prism who became its chairman and CEO in April 2020.

“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 £160m this year.”

Vista, which has more than $81bn in assets under management, plans to combine Blue Prism’s product and R&D investment with that of its portfolio company TIBCO.

TIBCO provides integration, data management and analytics software for enterprises. It has a blue-chip enterprise customer base of more than 10,000 companies.

“Vista and TIBCO recognise the strength of what we have built and the exceptional products and services we provide our customers,” continued Kingdon. 

“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, senior MD at Vista and co-head of the Vista Flagship Fund, said: “Vista 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.”