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Exclusive: Roper Technologies in $5.5 billion bid for Vertafore - sources

(Reuters) - Roper Technologies Inc ROP.N, a U.S. provider of software to several industries, is in talks to acquire private equity-owned insurance software vendor Vertafore Inc for close to $5.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The deal would be Roper’s largest acquisition to date. It would signal that the highly acquisitive company has not given up on its expansion plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused some of its customers to review their spending plans.

Roper has been competing against private equity firms in an auction for Vertafore, which is owned by buyout firms Vista Equity Partners and Bain Capital, the sources said. If Roper can conclude the negotiations successfully, an agreement could be announced as early as this month, the sources added, cautioning that no deal is certain.

The sources requested anonymity because the negotiations are confidential. Roper declined to comment. Vertafore, Vista Equity and Bain did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Roper has grown, largely through acquisitions, to a provider of software and automated solutions to a variety of sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food, energy and education. It has a market capitalization of $46 billion.

Insurance software companies have seen rising demand for products that give customers instant access to their information and help insurance providers cut costs. Acquiring Vertafore would be in line with Roper’s strategy of snapping up software companies in niche markets with strong recurring revenues.

Vertafore, based in Denver, is one of the primary vendors of software to the property and casualty insurance industry. Vista and Bain acquired the company in 2016 from private equity firm TPG for $2.7 billion, including debt.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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