You might be forgiven for no longer knowing the name Ultimate Software (NASDAQ: ULTI). The software-as-a-service professional, which gives payroll and HR management structures for midsize agencies, has flown beneath the radar for loads of us. But Motley Fool Asset Management’s Bill Barker become pretty acquainted, due to the fact Ultimate has been among its holdings for some time now.
In this segment from MarketFoolery, he talks with host Chris Hill approximately the upsides of this business enterprise, which has been taking market proportion from large rival Paychex, and what the founder/CEO might have been hoping for in selling out to non-public fairness.
Chris Hill: We’re going to start with merger Monday due to the fact it’s miles, once more, merger Monday. In this situation, Ultimate Software — incredible call — being acquired via a private funding company for $11 billion. This is an all-coins deal. Shares of Ultimate Software up 20%. Good day for the shareholders. This is one which I don’t think we’ve got ever talked about. What does this corporation do, besides have an exceptional name? This is one that you and your colleagues at MFAM Funds have recognized approximately, and I believe invested in for a while now.
Bill Barker: Yeah. It’s a glad Monday for shareholders of Ultimate. Two of our finances had been long-term shareholders of it thanks to Tony Arsta, allow’s supply credit score where credit’s due, for his work in this business enterprise going again to as a minimum 2014, probably earlier.
It’s a payroll and human assets management company, that is geared towards middle-sized companies. It’s had a top-notch run. Of route, the employment numbers not simply recently, however, occurring seven, eight years now, have been superb. So, they have got increasingly work to do. They’re competing with businesses; a better-acknowledged enterprise could be Paychex inside the space. They’ve been giving up the market proportion to not handiest Ultimate, however some of the smaller gamers. The 20% top rate that is on Ultimate’s price today is, there are other businesses like Paycom and Paylocity, which are two other very comparable organizations but smaller which can be going up in sympathy as humans assume, “Well, if I cannot get Ultimate anymore, maybe the things which might be out there is probably obtained.” So, you have the one’s agencies being up 2%, 5% today.
Hill: Why do you observe they agreed to be acquired? If, as you stated, they’ve been doing a first-rate task of taking a market percentage from Paychex — simply to put some numbers around this, Paychex is a $25 billion organization. With this buyout, glaringly, Ultimate software being valued at around $11 billion. It’s now not like they had been dramatically smaller than Paychex. If they have been gaining on them, I’m curious if they constantly noticed this because the logical conclusion, that in some unspecified time in the future, if the charge is proper, they had confirmed to be bought out. I’m certain there are as a minimum a few shareholders who’re searching at this announcing, “No! Even with the 20% top class, this turned into a teacher that was walking nicely, and I wanted to keep driving it!”
Barker: I’m positive there have been. It’s a founder-CEO business enterprise. He’s nevertheless there. He’s been there for 20-a few years. One of the matters in particular approximately this business enterprise that it points to with a few satisfaction is the company way of life and how they’ve ranked in a few Forbes ratings of maximum cherished companies. I assume they were inside the top 10 multiple instances, in phrases of employee happiness and admirability. I suppose they pointed, in their press release, to this being a way to hold the business enterprise way of life.
If — and now, I’m going to speculate — if the founder desired some type of payday that he should recognize through this, and yet preserve the corporation and the lifestyle that he loved, and he’s found a customer that’s willing to do this in a manner that he did not suppose could always be finished within the public markets, perhaps it really is the cause. But that’s a hypothesis.