Aveva Shareholders Accept Schneider’s £9.9bn Takeover Offer

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Cambridge-based engineering software firm Aveva acquired by France’s Schneider Electric for £9.9bn pounds ($11.9bn)

Shareholders in Cambridge-based engineering software firm Aveva Group plc have accepted a takeover offer from the French industrial group Schneider Electric.

Under a deal agreed in 2017 Schneider actually already owned 60 percent of Aveva, after similar deals had been proposed in July 2015 and July 2016 – but both those efforts collapsed.

Then in September 2021 Schneider launched a £9.5 billion bid to take full control, which was rejected by two major Aveva shareholders (Canada’s Mawer Investment Management and M&G Investments), who labelled the bid “opportunistic.”

Shareholder approval

Now Schneider has won control of Aveva on Friday after minority shareholders approved an offer valuing the industrial software firm at 9.9 billion pounds ($11.9 billion).

Aveva Group plc will be acquired by Ascot Acquisition Holdings Limited, an indirect subsidiary of Schneider Electric.

France’s Schneider had upped its offer to 3,225 pence earlier this month after the investor rejection of its September 2021 offer.

Some 83.49 percent of shares voted at a court meeting on Friday approved the takeover, clearing the 75 percent threshold required, Aveva noted.

“For our customers, we will continue to deliver world-class products and services,” said Peter Herweck, CEO of Aveva. “This transaction will help us to accelerate our customers’ digital transformation and their journey to efficiency and sustainability.”

“We will remain an autonomous business, operating under the Aveva name and brand,” Herweck added. “With increased investment in R&D, it will allow us to build our neutral and agnostic data platform in the cloud faster, and help our customers materialise the value of their data with our software solutions more seamlessly.”

Industrial software

Shares in the company rose very slightly up 0.3 percent to 3,192 pence following the approval of the offer which has been backed by Aveva’s board.

The transaction however still requires regulatory approvals. Aveva and Schneider Electric expect these to be completed in the first three months of 2023.

The French group has already pledged that Aveva would remain an autonomous business and its software will work with or without Schneider Electric hardware installed.

Aveva’s products are typically used in industrial settings, such as oil rigs, ships and chemical plants.

The firm was launched in the UK back in 1967 as CADCentre, pioneering the use of computer-aided design (CAD) techniques to empower industrial innovation.