Aveva have been a bargain for Schneider Electric but not cut-price

JEAN-PASCAL TRICOIRE: Chief Executive of Schneider Electric Photo credit: Schneider Electric

FRENCH-OWNED Schneider Electric recently rejected claims that it had acquired the Cambridge software giant Aveva “on the cheap.”

Aveva, which provides software used to design major industrial projects as well as products that assist in running factories, was founded in 1967 and since then has pioneered technology used in industrial design.

Britain’s Business Secretary, Grant Shapps gave the €10 billion deal the go-ahead in December when Schneider, which already owned 59 per cent of Schneider, acquired the remaining 41 per cent.

A month earlier, Aveva shareholders had okayed the acquisition despite worries that Schneider was indeed be benefitting from a cut-price deal.  Originally agreeing to pay £31 a share, representing a 40 per cent premium on Aveva’s then trading price, this was increased to £32.25 with a 47 per cent premium, precisely to dispel investors’ concerns.

The French company paid what chief executive Jean-Pascal Tricoire described as “a very rich premium” for the British company while talking to the UK media at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  At the same time he stressed Schneider’s commitment to existing jobs.

Tricoire also batted away misgivings regarding Schneider’s links to China via the company’s joint venture, founded in 2007, with Delixi Electric, a Chinese conglomerate.  Opponents to the deal maintained that this could endanger Aveva-owned technology.

“Most of what we do is 100 per cent Schneider,” Tricoire insisted.  “The digital arm of Avea is operating in China on its own,” he was quoted as saying, suggesting that there would be no change in the current situation.

 

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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