The battle to buy Misys, the banking software specialist which has been a perennial takeover target, yesterday looked set to be won by the US buy-out giant Vista Equity Partners after rival bidders CVC Capital Partners and ValueAct Capital pulled out.
Misys agreed a £1.27bn takeover deal with Vista in March, but in response CVC and ValueAct – the latter is the software-maker's biggest shareholder – said that they were looking at a joint counter-bid.
However, the duo walked away from the deal table yesterday, saying: "CVC and ValueAct confirm that they do not intend to proceed with an offer for Misys."
Shares in Misys plunged almost xx per cent or xxp to xxp as City analysts said the fight for Misys was finally over, with Vista's 350p-a-share offer the victor.
In a note titled "I have the fat lady on line two", George O'Connor at Panmure Gordon said: "Uberbulls might well talk up the (outside) chance of some trade buyer creeping out of the woodwork – but we do not see it. This is a good price for Misys. Now, investors need to think about where to reinvest the Misys lolly."
The banking software company was first plunged into the M&A spotlight last year, when its US rival Fidelity National Information Services offered 400p a share. Those talks collapsed, and in February Misys agreed terms for a $2bn (£1.25bn) merger with its Swiss rival Temenos. But investors' disdain for the all-share deal saw hopes of that tie-up also dissolve.
Last month Misys – which has been headed by Tom Kilroy as acting chief executive since Mike Lawrie joined struggling IT firm Computer Sciences Corporation in February – admitted its sales were down 12 per cent in the three months to March.
Vista is planning to merge Misys with Kondor, the former Thomson Reuters technology business it bought last year.