Paris/London The French industrial group Schneider Electric is completely swallowing the British software company Aveva. The electrical engineering and automation specialist, which already held a 59 percent stake in Aveva in 2017, is offering around 3.9 billion pounds (4.4 billion euros) for the remaining shares, as Schneider announced on Wednesday.
At 31 pounds per share, the French want to pay about 41 percent more than the Aveva securities were worth four weeks ago, on the day the takeover plans were first granted to them. In 2017, they had paid three billion pounds for their majority stake. Even after the complete takeover, Aveva should retain its “special culture as a software company,” Schneider Electric explained.
With Aveva’s software, drilling rigs, ships and chemical plants, for example, can be planned and controlled. The programs should continue to run not only with Schneider products, but also with systems and components from other manufacturers, as the majority shareholder emphasized. Automation technology providers such as Schneider or Siemens are increasingly relying on open interfaces because they see better opportunities to sell software.
Schneider stressed that Aveva will be run as an independent company, the employees should not be integrated into their own teams. However, they want to help the British to convert their business to a software subscription model (“software-as-a-service”), in which the programs are simply downloaded from the cloud.
The approach was met with a frown from analysts. Jefferies explained that they see the industrial logic of the takeover, also in terms of cost efficiency, but consider the rating to be high and want to know why Schneider does not want to integrate hardware and software more.