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Tyler to buy NIC for $2.3 billion as pandemic speeds online payment shift

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(Reuters) - Tyler Technologies Inc said on Wednesday it will buy payments company NIC Inc for about $2.3 billion, as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift to online services and electronic payments by governments.

Tyler is a provider of emergency management and other software programs to U.S. counties and municipalities, while NIC provides digital services that help citizens make secure payments to the government, renew licenses and submit business filings.

Under the terms of the deal, NIC shareholders will get $34 per share in cash, a premium of about 14% to its last closing price.

Shares of NIC soared about 14% to $33.90 before the bell and were set to open at its highest in more than 21 years, while Tyler was up 1%.

"The pandemic has accelerated the shift by governments to online services and electronic payments as more citizens and businesses are interacting digitally with government," Tyler Chief Executive Lynn Moore said.

Olathe, Kansas-based NIC serves more than 7,100 federal, state and local government agencies in the United States.

Tyler said it plans to fund the deal with about $700 million of cash and new debt. The deal is expected to add to Tyler's adjusted earnings in 2021.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Both companies also reported earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020 on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs & Co was the financial adviser to Tyler, while NIC was advised by Cowen and Co.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)