Briefing

Ultimate Software agrees to US$11-billion buyout by investor group including CPPIB

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The Weston, Fla.-based human-resources cloud-application company is being taken private by a consortium that includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Ultimate makes software for payroll, time management and employee engagement. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The buyout is the third large transaction involving a cloud HR tech firm over the last 12 months, after a decade of few mega-deals. In April 2018, cloud firm Ceridian went public on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges; the firm is based in Minneapolis, but is run from Toronto by Canadian David Ossip, making it a rare Canadian-linked tech IPO. And, Workday acquired Adaptive Insights for US$1.55 billion in June 2018, pre-empting the smaller company’s IPO plans. Business is good for these firms (Allied Market Research estimates the size of the market for cloud-based HR software at US$22.17 billion by 2023), so more big deals look likely.