M&A Roundup – Fall 2021

It’s been a while since we last did a round-up of notable investments and acquisitions in the content and process automation space. So as we move toward Thanksgiving and the first snow may be on the way, I thought it time to rectify that. October and November have been busy times, yet it’s a mixed bunch as you will see.

The largest deal of the period was OpenText, breaking their year-long acquisition drought with the purchase of mid-market email security vendor Zix for around $1B. This deal boosts the security side of OpenText business following its 2019 purchase of Carbonite. Our reckoning leaves OpenText with three similarly sized business divisions, Security, Business Networking, and lastly, its traditional content and process products.

The most exciting deal of the quarter is not a deal at all yet, more just an expression of interest. SS&C, the financial services software firm (that bought Intralinks in 2018), has made a $1.6B bid to take over RPA vendor Blue Prism, with some believing this could trigger a bidding war for the RPA giant. Indeed, arguably, it already has after Vista Equity Partners and Tibco moved on BluePrism in October. This should be interesting to watch play out, notably as Vista appeared to want to sell Tibco off earlier this year.

Everyone seems to want to be a part of the RPA and automation party, including Xerox acquiring Vermont-based Competitive Computing (C2) to boost its automation services. Microsoft acquired Clear Software to expand its ability to integrate its process automation capabilities across a wide range of non-Microsoft applications in October. In addition, private equity-owned, New York based AutoKatlyst acquired the German RPA company OfficeBots. We also noted that Openprise, a marketing-focused automation firm raised $16m to boost its RevOps automation business. And last but not least, NetDocuments, the legal document management player, acquired Afterpattern, a no-code automation toolkit vendor. Lots going on in the world of automation!

In the broader Content market, there were also a couple of interesting deals, including Contentstack, the web content management vendor, acquiring the content management services division of Raw Engineering. At the other end of the content management spectrum, UK based Restore PLC bought the records management business The Document Warehouse for close to $9m

A busy fall, and we understand more deals are in the works through the end of the year. Most likely (but watch me be proven wrong), Jan and Feb will be quiet months, but with all the interest in the content and particularly process management markets, it could be a hectic spring 2022 indeed.

At Deep Analysis we regularly advise and support buyers and sellers of technology firms alike. If you are looking to grow inorganically or looking for a new home reach out and have a chat!

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