Blue Prism moves a step closer to a takeover as UK tech star’s board backs US rival SS&C’s £1.24bn offer

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British tech star Blue Prism is one step closer to being acquired by a US rival for £1.24 billion.

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The board has thrown its weight behind a proposal from SS&C after the rival bidder, Vista, was out of the race.

The SS&C deal, which is priced at 1,275p per share, will hand over £169million to the four co-founders and owners of Blue Prism.

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Payday: Blue Prism chief executive and chairman Jason Kingdon (pictured) is in line for £75m if a sale to SS&C takes place

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But procurement still faces major hurdles. The Mail understands that the government is monitoring the deal and that it will likely be looked into by the Department of Trade once the National Security and Investment Act comes into force next month.

The purpose of the act is to prevent takeovers in strategic industries where losses may compromise national security, and to secure greater protection for the firms to be sold.

Blue Prism, one of the 20 largest firms on AIM, will come under this banner due to its expertise in Artificial Intelligence. An investigation can delay a deal for months.

The firm provides automation technology to businesses, selling virtual robots to perform mundane tasks such as fulfilling customer orders.

Clients include HSBC, NHS, eBay and Barclays. Blue Prism pioneered the entire field of robotic process automation in the 2000s, and is still the largest player in the UK. But the Warrington firm has faced stiff competition from the US.

Its shareholders will be required to vote on the deal after SS&C is endorsed by the board, with a likely due within the next few weeks.

A bidding war has been going on since September, when Vista agreed to a deal worth £1.1 billion.

SS&C went higher, triggering a second Vista bid, but last week SS&C struck a 1,275p per share deal valued at £1.24bn.

It hands out millions to top managers: Chief executive Jason Kingdon is in line for £75 million, while co-founder Alistair Bathgate will earn £59 million.

Fellow co-founder and chief technology officer David Moss will net more than £18 million and Terry Walby, head of Blue Prism Ventures, will net more than £17 million.

James Rasteh, partner, a leading investor at Coast Capital, said: ‘For us, it’s not just about price, but about a better home for the many talented people at Blue Prism.’ Shares fell 4 per cent, or 53p, to 1260p.

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