Schneider Electric To Acquire Cambridge’s Aveva

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The French company is to merge its industrial software operations with those of Aveva

Cambridge-based industrial IT systems vendor Aveva has said it has agreed to a takeover by France’s Schneider Electric that will see the merger of the two companies’ software units into a “global leader in industrial software”.

Schneider’s software business notably includes the operations of London-based Invensys, which it acquired for £5.5bn last year. The combined unit is to offer a broad range of products, including Aveva’s plant design software and Invensys’ control systems, which are used by chemicals makers, oil refineries and mining companies.

Silicon Fen

schneiderAveva grew out of the government-funded Computer-Aided Design Centre (CADCentre), established in 1967, and introduced the world’s first 3D plant design systems in 1976.

It is one of a number of successful technology companies to have grown up in Cambridge, with others including chip designers CSR and ARM Holdings – CSR is another British company recently taken over by an overseas entity, having been acquired by Qualcomm in October of last year for £1.6bn.

The complex transaction will see Aveva acquire Schneider Software, following which it is to receive £550m in exchange for issuing new Aveva shares to Schneider that will give the French company 53.5 percent of the enlarged group.

The companies said the shares to be issued to Schneider have a current market value of about £1.3bn. The combined company is to have combined revenues of £534m and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £130m.

‘Transformational’

Aveva said its board of directors is to remain in place upon the deal’s completion, with Schneider appointing two additional non-executive directors.

“The transaction will be transformational to Aveva, creating a global leader in industrial software, which will be able to better compete on a global scale,” stated Aveva chief executive Richard Longdon.

The companies said they expect the deal to conclude by the end of this year or early next year.

Schneider has significant operations in the power management and data centre markets, and was recently named as one of those expected to benefit from the growth in the market for green data centres.

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