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Britain's Aveva to tie-up with Schneider Electric in software deal

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC EARNS
Antoine Antoniol | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Britain's Aveva Group said on Tuesday it had agreed to combine with Schneider Electric's software business to create a London-listed leader in industrial software worth more than 3 billion pounds ($3.88 billion).

France's Schneider will take a 60 percent stake in the enlarged group under the terms of the deal, which is structured as a reverse takeover, the companies said.

The tie-up comes after two abandoned attempts to agree a deal in 2015 and last year.

Chief Executive James Kidd said the deal would give Aveva a bigger presence in sectors such as food and beverages and pharmaceuticals as well as in its strongholds in oil and gas, mining and marine.

It will also benefits from Schneider's bigger position in North America, he said.

The collapse of the first tie-up attempt was blamed by Aveva on the "highly complex structure of the proposed transaction" and worries about "significant integration challenges".

Kidd said on Tuesday that the agreement was "much more advanced" this time and he was sure it would get over the line.

He said Schneider had done more work to separate its software assets ahead of the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Aveva shareholders will receive 550 million pounds in cash, worth around 858 pence per share, from Schneider and another 100 million pounds, worth around 156 pence per share, from cash on Aveva's balance sheet.

Shares in Aveva jumped 24 percent to 23.78 pounds while Schneider Electric was up 1.2 percent at 69.75 euros.

Details of the deal were reported late on Monday.