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Trigaux: Why I love and hate deal by giant Express Scripts to buy Tampa's myMatrixx firm

One of the more dynamic up-and-comer technology firms in Tampa, myMatrixx was just bought by Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 company in St. Louis with more than $100 billion in revenues.

I love the deal because a smart local startup grew and was well rewarded by being noticed (then bought) by one of the larger companies in America. That's capitalism, and a dream of many young, growing businesses and their backers here to find an "exit" and reap their financial reward.

I also hate the deal because a smart local startup grew but can no longer strive to become one of the next-generation giants headquartered right here in Tampa Bay. While this metro area keeps saying it needs a big "breakout" company to prosper right here, our top young firms get acquired before achieving that status.

Daniel James Scott, CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, area advocacy group for the tech industry, says the deal is one of many to celebrate. "The myMatrixx acquisition by Express Scripts is the latest in a growing trend of technology-driven companies with exits over the last year, including Tower Cloud, Triad Retail Media and Valpak," he says.

"Overall, these acquisitions are a huge net positive for our region, creating additional local wealth, demonstrating that earlier investment capital has an opportunity to exit locally, and developing more investable teams here post-transition," says Scott.

So kudos to Tampa's myMatrixx, a 16-year-old pharmacy benefits manager that processes thousands of prescriptions every day. That skill set caught the eye of giant Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager, which announced the purchase of myMatrixx but did not disclose financial terms.

I'm guessing they were healthy numbers, as we'll examine in a moment. In 2015, myMatrixx had $123.28 million in revenue and more than 200 employees.

Express Scripts, No. 22 on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. public corporations, described this deal as taking an important step in expanding its "customized workers' compensation pharmacy solutions," stated Express Scripts. The company said the combined workers' compensation team will be led by Artemis Emslie, currently myMatrixx CEO.

myMatrixx was founded by Steve MacDonald, who serves as the firm's executive chairman. The CEO and vice chairman of parent company myMatrixx Holdings is Tom Cardy, a veteran entrepreneur and investor. Cardy describes the myMatrixx deal in a LinkedIn note, first thanking the folks who "trusted Steve MacDonald and my judgement back in 2006 and invested in a company with a vision and $300,000 of earnings."

Cardy says the sale of myMatrixx generated an "exceptional return" for early investors and is "very proud to have been part of the scrappy, extraordinary myMatrixx team. "Thanks for the memories."

Cardy plans to mix golf and time at his beach house this summer with the hunt for the next new thing.

Hurry back.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.

Trigaux: Why I love and hate deal by giant Express Scripts to buy Tampa's myMatrixx firm 05/18/17 [Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:44pm]
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