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Vista plans to acquire Blue Prism and roll it into Tibco

Vista Equity Partners, the parent company of analytics vendor Tibco, has revealed its intent to acquire a leading robotic process automation vendor and plans to roll it into Tibco once the deal closes.

Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that owns analytics vendor Tibco, said it intends to acquire robotic process automation vendor Blue Prism for $1.5 billion and plans to combine Tibco and Blue Prism once the deal is approved by shareholders.

Blue Prism, founded in 2001 and based in Warrington, England, offers a no-code automation platform that enable organizations to automate certain processes. Its capabilities include the Intelligent Automation Platform, Blue Prism Cloud and Automation Lifecycle Management, among others.

Tibco, meanwhile, was founded in 1997 and is based in Palo Alto, Calif. The vendor, which Texas-based Vista acquired and took private in 2014 for $4.3 billion, offers a data and analytics platform that includes three pillars -- Connect for integration, Predict for analytics and Unify for data management.

Its Predict portfolio includes Hyperconverged Analytics, a single environment introduced in September 2020 where visual analysis, data science and streaming data capture are brought together.

Vista filed documents with the London Stock Exchange on Sept. 29 detailing the acquisition.

In order to execute the acquisition, Vista formed an entity called Bali Bidco Ltd. that is indirectly owned by Vista Funds, and once the acquisition is complete -- expected either late in the fourth quarter of 2021 or during the first quarter of 2022 -- Bidco will relinquish control of Blue Prism and the RPA vendor will become part of Tibco.

"Blue Prism is a leader in the field of robotic process automation, [and] Blue Prism's leading capabilities provide a great opportunity to expand the Tibco platform with intelligent automation," Tibco CEO Dan Streetman said Sept. 29 during Tibco Now 2021, the vendor's virtual user conference.

Tibco CEO Dan Streetman speaks during Tibco Now 2021
Tibco CEO Dan Streetman discusses Vista Equity Partners' acquisition of RPA vendor Blue Prism and plans to merge Blue Prism into Tibco during the analytics vendor's virtual user conference.

Meanwhile, also in Vista's filing with the London Stock Exchange, Jason Kingdon, Blue Prism's CEO, noted that the combination of the two companies will lead to growth opportunities.

"Combining with Vista and Tibco will ensure we remain at the forefront of the next generation of intelligent automation," he said. "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."

Tibco is in the midst of hosting a four-day virtual user conference.

News regarding the vendor's Connect portfolio was revealed Monday, its Unify portfolio Tuesday, and additions to its Predict portfolio -- which includes business intelligence platforms Spotfire and WebFocus -- will be unveiled Thursday.

None of the planned updated and new capabilities, however, are more significant than Vista's acquisition of Blue Prism and plan to roll it into Tibco, according to Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research.

The acquisition of robotic process automation vendor Blue Prism is clearly the biggest headline coming out of Tibco Now.
Doug HenschenAnalyst, Constellation Research

"The acquisition of robotic process automation vendor Blue Prism is clearly the biggest headline coming out of Tibco Now," he said.

He added that news of the acquisition reflects a growing trend in analytics.

On the same day Vista unveiled its plan to combine Tibco and Blue Prism, data management vendor Alteryx revealed an expanded partnership with UiPath, another RPA vendor. And in general, data and analytics vendors are looking to add automation capabilities to eliminate certain repeatable tasks that otherwise need to be done manually, according to Henschen.

"We're seeing more combinations of integration, workflow and process automation across the industry," he said.

Henschen noted that other examples include Alteryx's partnerships with Blue Prism, UiPath and optical character recognition and automation vendor Abbyy; Qlik acquiring and integrating automation platform Blendr.io; and multiple integration platform-as-a-service vendors expanding their workflow, low-code development and automation capabilities.

Before what is essentially Tibco's acquisition of Blue Prism, Tibco's most recent acquisition was fellow analytics vendor IBI -- formerly Information Builders -- in October 2020.

Other significant acquisitions by Tibco include Spotfire in 2007, Jaspersoft in 2014, Cisco's Data Virtualization business -- formerly Composite Software -- in 2017 and iPaaS vendor Scribe Software in 2018.

Vista's acquisition of Blue Prism on Tibco's behalf represents the analytics vendor's first purchase of RPA capabilities.

"We are very excited about the opportunity for intelligent automation and how it can accelerate time to value," Streetman said.

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