A few weeks ago, I posted about Vertex’s offer to acquire Pagero. Pagero is a public e-invoice network headquartered in Sweden. Combining an indirect tax expert (Vertex) with an e-invoice network makes sense. One of the competitors in the indirect tax market, Sovos, did this a while back when they acquired Invoiceware, an e-invoice network in LATAM.
The only surprise in the deal was the more than 70% premium Vertex was offering to buy Pagero. It turns out that the premium was not enough because that only started the Pagero bidding war.
Thomson Reuters Enters the Pagero Bidding War
On January 11, the legal and tax giant Thomson Reuters entered a bid for Pagero at 40 SEK per share, topping Vertex’s bid by 14%.
In my original post, I noted that Vertex and Pagero announced a partnership in October 2023 and said they had worked together for a year. I failed to discover that Pagero also partnered with Thomson Reuters, which was announced in February 2023. Indeed, Thomson Reuters’ OneSource offers an e-invoice solution powered by Pagero. I suspect the Thomson Reuters people did not like the idea of their product being owned by a competitor.
Avalara Joins the Fray
Not to be outdone, just a day later (today), Avalara, another indirect tax rival, entered the fray with a 45 SEK per share bid for Pagero, representing another 12.5% premium over the Thomson Reuters bid. The stock is now trading more than 100% above where it was before the announcements. Vertex bid about 8.3x Pagero’s TTM revenue, so the stock now trades for more than 10x revenue.
Pagero’s stock price closed this week at 50.20 SEK per share, representing a 10% premium over the latest bid. Perhaps the great Pagero bidding war will continue next week!