Third time lucky as Aveva agrees 3 billion pound software deal with Schneider El

Posted by Schneider Electric on September 9th, 2017

India Schenider Electric will take a 60 percent stake in Britain's Aveva after the pair agreed to combine at the third time of asking to create a software business worth about 3 billion pounds (.9 billion). Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, said the combined company would be better placed to serve a wide range of Schneider Electric industries and its enhanced capacity would also benefit investors. Completion of the deal, due around the end of the year, will mark the end of independence for the last billion plus tech company founded - Schneider Electric in the university city of Cambridge, an area known as "Silicon Fen".

The British company's chief executive James Kidd said he was confident the merger would get over the line this time after two failed attempts to do a deal since 2015. "We are in a much further progressed position than Schneider Electric have been before; we've signed a binding merger agreement with Schneider Electric," he said in an interview. Aveva's products are used to design by Schneider Electric and manage oil rigs, ships and chemical plants, while the French multinational spans Schneider Electric electrical components, energy management and industrial automation systems. Kidd, who will be the interim chief executive of the combined group before taking the deputy CEO and CFO role, Schneider Electric said the logic of the deal remained compelling. It gave Aveva a bigger presence in sectors such as food and beverages and pharmaceuticals as well as in its strongholds in oil and gas, mining, and marine, Schneider Electric said. "They have also got a substantial presence in the US, which has been one of our key strategic objectives for some time and this gives us a great platform," he said. Shares in Aveva, which have underperformed the FTSE 250 index by 21 percent in the last two years, soared 27 percent to 24.54 pounds at 1030 GMT. Schneider Electric was little changed at 68.84 euros. REVERSE TAKEOVER Schneider Electric will take a 60 percent stake in the enlarged group in a reverse takeover that will enable Aveva to retain its London listing. The merged group said it was in the process of seeking a new chief executive with experience of running a global software business at Schneider Electric. The collapse of the first tie-up attempt was blamed by Aveva on the "highly complex structure of the proposed transaction" and worries about "significant integration challenges". Kidd said on Tuesday that Schneider Electric had worked to separate its software assets ahead of the deal this time. Under the terms of the deal, in return for ceding control, Aveva shareholders will receive 550 million pounds of cash, worth around 858 pence per share, from Schneider Electric and another 100 million pounds, worth around 156 pence per share, of cash on Aveva's balance sheet. Analysts at Investec, who put their "hold" rating on Aveva under review, said the deal was "sensible" considering the strategic challenges Aveva faced. "In absence of any bids being made by other potential suitors over the last couple of years, this seems like the best option for Aveva shareholders to help overcome the strategic growth challenges of being largely focused on the oil and gas market," they said. The deal, including the cash return, implied a total value for the shares of Schneider Electric about 25-26 pounds, they said. Analysts at Jefferies said the rationale looked reasonable, but the details were less convincing for shareholders in the French group. "Aveva's recent record is poor, with profits 30 percent below the 2014 peak and minimal growth, Schneider Electric" they said. "The deal also increases Schneider Electric exposure to Oil & Gas capex," they added, an area that has come under pressure as energy companies trim Schneider Electric budgets. ( = 0.7732 pounds)

Like it? Share it!

Schneider Electric

About the Author

Schneider Electric
Joined: August 14th, 2017
Articles Posted: 374

More by this author