The Daily Telegraph

Aveva takeover leaves FTSE 100 with just one tech firm

- By Matthew Field

ONE of the FTSE 100’s last remaining technology companies has been snapped up by French giant Schneider Electric in a £9.4bn deal.

Aveva, the Cambridge industrial software company, has agreed to a £31 per share takeover from Schneider, which was already its biggest shareholde­r.

The €66bn (£58bn) French industrial conglomera­te already owned 60pc of Aveva shares after a deal in 2016, but had agreed to buy out remaining investors. The buyout is at a 40pc premium to Aveva’s share price before news of Schneider’s interest emerged in August.

The deal removes one of Britain’s biggest technology companies from public markets. The takeover of Aveva, a FTSE 100 constituen­t, leaves the Blue Chip index with just one pure technology company, according to listing criteria: accountanc­y software company Sage.

Avast, the FTSE 100 cyber security company, was taken over by US rival Norton last year. Microfocus, a FTSE 250 IT company, confirmed this week it had agreed to a takeover by Canadian company Opentext.

Schneider said Aveva would maintain a level of corporate autonomy and its main headquarte­rs in Cambridge. Jean-pascal Tricoire, Schneider’s chief executive, said the company would continue to invest in R&D in Cambridge.

Mr Tricoire said the takeover would allow Aveva to grow faster, in particular in signing up customers to subscripti­ons for its software.

Schneider, founded in 1836 as a steelmaker, has grown into a energy management and software giant for homes, data centres and industrial clients.

Aveva was originally founded in the 1960s as the government-funded Computer Aided Design Centre. It was listed on the stock market in 1996 and focuses on providing software and data tools to energy and oil and gas companies.

Schneider plans to grow Aveva’s business, rather than make cuts or cost-savings. “It is a growth plan,” Mr Tricoire said, adding that since Schneider first invested in the company, “the headcount of Aveva grew spectacula­rly”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom