Belfast Telegraph

Software firm banks on £1.3bn takeover move

By Jamie Grierson

A financial software firm that includes the world's top 50 banks among its clients has agreed a £1.3bn takeover by a US private equity firm.

Misys, which employs 4,000 staff worldwide and was founded in the UK in 1979, has been bought by Magic Bidco, an investment vehicle owned by Vista Equity Partners, which plans to combine the company with Turaz, a provider of trade and risk management software.

The agreement comes after weeks of takeover noise around the group, which supplies software to financial services, including 1,200 banking customers, after a merger with Swiss rival Temenos fell through and its largest shareholder ValueAct considered a bid.

The deal was announced as Misys reported a 12% fall in revenues to £89m in the three months to February 29 as customers delayed software licence decisions as they awaited the outcome of discussions on the future ownership of the company.

Misys chairman Sir James Crosby, former chief executive of bank HBOS, said the 350p a share deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, offered "attractive value".

Sir James said: "The independent Misys directors recognise the benefits that Vista will bring to the Misys business through its experience in the enterprise software industry and its strong operational expertise."

The group saw its order intake decline 18% in the third quarter, driven by a 45% decline in its treasury and capital markets (TCM) business, although banking orders dropped 1% as well.

Tintin Stormont, analyst at Singer Capital, said the deal was "disappointing" and at the lower end of expectations.

He said: "The results were impacted predominantly by the cautious approach adopted by customers whilst discussions were taking place about the future ownership of the group, and also by continued challenging conditions in financial markets."