Vista Equity Partners portfolio company Misys is set to return to the public markets in a big way. The British provider of banking software services has announced plans to relist on the London Stock Exchange in about a month's time, hoping to raise roughly £500 million in the process at an estimated £5.5 billion valuation in what could be London's largest IPO of 2016. The company has been privately owned since it was acquired by Vista for about £1.25 billion in a take-private buyout and subsequently delisted during 2012.
Probably the largest reason it's been a slow year for IPO activity in London is the idea that Brexit makes it a risky time to go public. But Misys CEO Nadeem Syed rejected that idea, and in fact embraced the timing: "We want to send a message that London is a financial center and is open for business," he told the Financial Times.
In a roundabout way, Brexit could be a boon for Misys, which provides various forms of financial services software to a wide range of institutions. The company does business with 48 of the world's 50 largest banks, according to the BBC, and regulatory upheaval in Europe could lead to banks bulking up on their software purchases.
As part of the return to the public markets, Vista reportedly may sell some of its stake in the company, a move that seems to have been in the works for years: reports surfaced as early as 2014 that Vista was seeking a sale of Misys. The tech-focused investor has been a constant presence in the software industry during the past six years. Since the start of 2011, Vista is by far the most active PE investor in software companies, according to the PitchBook Platform, with 93 acquisitions completed. Earlier this year, it played the other side of the private vs. public game with a $1.8 billion take-private acquisition of Marketo, a marketing software provider.