New player enters bidding war for GBST

New player enters bidding war for GBST

What started as a $2.50 takeover bid from Bravura Solutions (ASX: BVS) in April has turned into a scrum as several suitors seek to get their hands on Brisbane-based fintech GBST (ASX: GBT).

The company's shares went into a trading halt on Monday afternoon after SS&C Technologies Inc (Nasdaq: SSNC) lifted the stakes to $3.25 per share, valuing the company at $221 million.

The market was put on standby as the parent company of Wellington-based FNZ Custodians made non-binding indicative proposal at a cash price of A$3.50 per share.

That bid itself was a lift on another offer made by the New Zealand company - formally as Kiwi Holdco Cayco - on 28 June.

But when office hours opened on the other side of the world in Connecticut, the team at SS&C responded quickly and made an updated proposal at $3.60 per share, valuing GBST at $244 million.

"Having carefully assessed the merits of both proposals, the Board remains of the view that it is in the best interests of GBST and its shareholders to facilitate a binding offer from SS&C reflecting the terms of its revised proposal and which is capable of being presented to shareholders," says GBST chairman Allan Brackin.

GBST highlights the offer represents an 82.3 per cent premium on the closing price of shares on 11 April prior to Bravura's initial offer, and SS&C has stated it would be comfortable with GBST paying a fully franked special dividend of up to $0.35 per share ahead of completion.

The proposal still remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, and if due diligence activities lead to a binding scheme implementation agreement the GBST board intends to unanimously recommend the updated proposal to shareholders.

SS&C will have three weeks to complete its due diligence of GBST, which provides administration and transaction processing software for retail wealth management organisations and global and regional investment banks.

Today it has also been revealed that listed investment company Spheria Asset Management (ASX: SEC) increased its stake in GBST from 12.42 per cent to 14.46 per cent on 28 June.

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