Over the last year, the robotic process automation market has been more active than ever. One of the pioneers in the market, Blue Prism, was sold to Vista Equity Partners for $1.5 billion (£1.095 billion) according to a filing in Great Britain.
Even though the past year has seen many RPA startups acquired by larger vendors, this is the first deal involving the top three vendors in this industry.
The deal is a bit complex, with Vista setting up an entity called Bali Bidco Limited (indirectly owned by Vista Funds, though not clear why) to purchase Blue Prism on its behalf.
Blue Prism was not on sure footing for a while
Blue Prism is going to be folded into another property owned by Vista, called Tibco, which it acquired for $4.3 billion in 2014.
Blue Prism, in its filing, was facing rough times and has been considering its options since its annual general meeting in March this year. The company said its board considered several strategic options, given the challenges it faces, the risk inherent in executing those options, and shareholder consultation feedback.
One of the options it considered was a sale, which is what the company eventually went with.
The chairman agrees it’s the best approach
Jason Kingdon, the CEO of Blue Prism, sees this approach as the best way to give Blue Prism a better footing. Bringing together Tibco and Blue Prism, the CEO added, will ensure that the unit remains at the pioneering level of the next generation of RPA innovation and use.
He added that this can be an opportunity to expand the range of products it offers, augmented by Tibco’s global reach and technologies, and its status as a privately owned company.
Kingdon said Blue Prism will also have better access to capital to pursue opportunities as they arise.