UK Industrial Software Firm Aveva Agrees Takeover By Schneider Electric

Aveva is to take over Schneider’s software operations, creating a Schneider-owned, Cambridge-based company with a broader reach

British engineering software firm Aveva has agreed to a takeover by French industrial group Schneider Electric, the third time the two companies have proposed a merger in three years.

Previous deals were disclosed in July 2015 and July 2016 but both efforts collapsed.

Operations to merge

The deal involves Schneider taking a 60 percent stake in Aveva, with the company remaining based in Cambridge and listed on the London exchange, and incorporating Schneider’s software division.

The combined company is to be worth about £3bn and the deal, which Aveva has recommended to its shareholders, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

schneiderCurrent shareholders are to receive a total of £550m from Schneider and £100m of cash from Aveva.

Current Aveva chief executive James Kidd is expected to carry on in his role until the board appoints a new head, at which time he will become deputy chief executive and chief financial officer.

‘Transformational’ deal

“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 chairman Philip Aiken.

Schneider chairman and chief executive Jean-Pascal Tricoire said the deal would create a company with a “unique portfolio”.

“It will also create the right environment and structure for the software teams to aggressively develop their business,” he stated.

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The companies said the combined firm will combine complementary areas covered by Aveva and Schneider, with Aveva’s experience in oil and gas and power and Schneider having broad reach in the chemicals and food and beverage sectors.

Schneider also contributes greater exposure in North America, they said.

Aveva, with 1,700 staff worldwide, grew out of Cambridge University in the 1960s and pioneered 3D computer-aided design (CAD) technology.

Schneider developed from the 19th century Schneider-Creusot iron and steel business, which became a major arms manufacturer. It took on its current form after the second world war and changed its name from Schneider to Schneider Electric in 1999.

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