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Investor group to acquire Ultimate Software in $11 billion deal

February 05 2019

Ultimate Software (NASD: ULTI), a developer of cloud-based human capital management and employee experience software, agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman. The investor group also includes Blackstone Group LP, GIC Pte Ltd, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and JMI Equity.

The all-cash transaction of $331.50 per share values the company at approximately $11 billion. Ultimate Software will operate as a privately held company after the transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2019, subject to stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. 

Ultimate Software’s UltiPro product provides HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management as well as HR service delivery solutions. The company’s total revenue exceeded $1.1 billion in 2018; clients currently include more than 5,600 companies worldwide, with more than 48 million people records in the cloud.

Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Fla., and employs more than 5,100 professionals.

Upon completion of the transaction, Ultimate will operate as a privately held company under the leadership of current president and CEO Scott Scherr and the existing senior management team.

Bloomberg reported Ultimate Software is the second-fastest growing provider, behind Workday Inc., in the $17 billion human-capital management and payroll-software market. It’s moving beyond a core of midsize customers and has been gaining market share, while its acquisition of PeopleDoc should help it expand internationally, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh.

“This change will bring meaningful benefits to our employees and customers — both in the long and short terms,” said Scherr, who founded the company in 1990. “Since all of our employees are given equity in Ultimate when they join us, as stockholders, this transaction will result in immediate financial upside for them. Today’s announcement will also allow us to make additional, prudent investments in our products and services to better serve our customers.”

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