Schneider Electric initiates discussions with Bentley Systems – 04/19/2024 at 11:06


(Updated with details, stock prices, analyst comments)

Schneider Electric SCHN.PA announced on Friday that it had initiated discussions with US engineering software company Bentley Systems BSY.O regarding “a potential strategic transaction”.

The French electrical equipment manufacturer did not provide any additional details.

“These discussions remain at an early stage, and there is no certainty that a transaction will be approved or completed,” Schneider Electric said in a statement.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Bentley Systems, which has a market capitalization of nearly $16 billion, was exploring expressions of interest that include a possible sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Among the companies that have expressed interest in a deal with Bentley are Schneider and design software company Cadence Design Systems CDNS.O , one of the sources said.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, Schneider Electric shares fell by

2.3

% Friday at 08:54 GMT, showing one of the strongest declines in the CAC 40 .FCHI (

-0.78

%).

According to William Mackie, analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, the share price performance on Friday is in line with the sector and does not reflect the group’s announcement.

“Schneider’s confirmation of preliminary discussions with Bentley Systems is very encouraging. The two software companies would complement each other well, and if the deal were structured similarly to Aveva, it could create good value shareholder value for both companies,” he said.

In late 2022, Schneider agreed an $11.9 billion deal with Aveva, one of Britain’s biggest tech companies, after a long battle with investors who demanded a higher price.

In the event of a full takeover and at current valuations, the operation would rank among the top 10 acquisitions made in the United States by a French company, according to financial data company Dealogic.

The largest transaction recorded in recent years was that of Tiffany by LVMH LVMH.PA in 2021 for $16.2 billion.

Schneider, which specializes in energy management equipment for homes, industry and data centers, has sought to grow its software business through acquisitions in recent years.

Bentley Systems, controlled by the Bentley family through a special class of stock, has formed a special committee of its board of directors to explore possible options, which include an outright sale of the company as well as ‘a joint venture, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

(Report Dominique Patton and Mathieu Rosemain; written by Lina Golovnya, Blandine Hénault and Diana Mandiá)



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