UK engineering software firm swallowed in £3bn merger with France's Schneider Electric

Reverse takeover: Cambridge techies to keep London listing

Another UK engineering software group has been snapped up by the claws of industrial machines – for about half a billion pieces of cold, hard cash.

After several failed talks, France-headquartered energy firm Schneider Electric announced today it has agreed a reverse takeover of Cambridge development house Aveva for £550m.

Aveva makes software for oil and gas, power, marine and chemical processing markets. As the Financial Times reports, customers have been spending less, so it has been under pressure as of late.

Previous acquisition talks with Schneider Electric broke down in December 2015 and June 2016. According to a press release today, however, the two have finally announced a solution they're both happy with.

With its £550m payment, Schneider Electric will swallow 60 per cent of an enlarged AVEVA that includes its own software division (shares worth about £1.7bn); existing AVEVA investors get to keep the other 40 per cent as part of the part-cash deal. AVEVA will also dole out about £100m to its existing shareholders (1014p in cash per share).

The headquarters of the expanded AVEVA group will remain in Cambridge and AVEVA is expected to remain listed in the UK.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, subject to the usual regulatory approvals. ®


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