France’s Schneider Electric buys Britain’s Aveva for 9.4 billion pounds

French digital automation and energy management company Schneider Electric said it will go ahead with the full acquisition of the Cambridge-based software company. Aviva Group plc In a deal, the industrial software maker is valued at 9.48 billion pounds ($10.7 billion).

Schneider is making an offer of £31 (about $34.8) per share, about 41% over Aveva’s closing price on August 23, when Schneider first revealed its plans to explore a full takeover. Aveva’s stock price was at an all-time high that day.

Schneider expects the deal to expire in 2023.

Almost 60% of Aveva is already owned by Schneider. In 2017, Schneider completed a reverse acquisition that gave it majority control of Aveva and allowed the British company to keep its London listings. At the time, the French company paid £3 billion for the deal.

The latest deal means Schneider will acquire 40% of the remaining shares in the FTSE 100 Group.

Schneider Electric said Aveva’s software will remain “completely neutral” after the deal is completed, meaning it will work with or without Schneider Electric appliances and remain an independent company.

In addition, Aveva employees will not be integrated into the Schneider team.

The strategy, according to the French company, will preserve Aveva’s unique culture as a software company.

Schneider said gaining full control of Aveva will help expand the two companies by enabling Schneider to combine its energy proposal with Aveva’s process data and tools.

“Schneider Electric has been a supporting contributor and partner in Aveva’s strategic development since 2018, most recently in Acquisition of Osisoftand I am confident that Schneider Electric will continue to build on this legacy,” said Philip Aiken, President of Aviva.

Born out of Cambridge University in the 1960s, Aveva is a FTSE 100 index company, with more than 6,400 employees. Its programs have primarily focused on the energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors, although it has expanded further in recent years.

“We are proud of Aveva’s UK track record, one of Schneider Electric’s most important markets and strategy, and will maintain our headquarters in Cambridge, allowing us to continue to benefit from the region’s thriving technology community,” Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider CEO, said.

According to Tricoire, Schneider also wants to work with Aveva to transition to a subscription and collaboration business model in areas such as research and development.

M&G, Aveva’s 20 largest shareholder and owner of 0.75% of the group, said that He will vote against the merger Because it devalues ​​the company’s long-term potential.

Another of Aveva’s 25 largest shareholders said they would accept the purchase “with gritty teeth,” adding that it was an example of a large-scale devaluation of British stocks.

A group of Aveva directors, judged as independent, recommended Schneider’s offer to Aveva’s minority shareholders. To approve it, it will now need at least 75% of minority investors to support it in a vote held in November.

British tech companies are attractive acquisition targets

Advertising comes at a time when UK technology companies have become attractive acquisition targets for foreign companiesAs a result of the devaluation of the British pound and the devaluation of Britain’s exit from the European Union. He will leave the London Stock Exchange with very few big IT companies.

Canadian Open Text Corp. recently made a $5.1 billion bid to buy Micro Focus International, and NortonLifeLock’s Avast and US private equity group Thoma Bravo recently bought Make a purchase offer For AI security firm Darktrace.

Other potential takeover candidates in the UK tech sector include Kape Technologies, The Sage Group, Redcentric and Words Studios.

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