Schneider Electric makes €1.4bn bid for German construction IT company

RIB Software, a Stuttgart-based maker of construction applications, is the target of a €1.4bn takeover bid by French multinational Schneider Electric, it was announced yesterday.

Schneider said it was making a cash offer of €29 a share in the German company, a premium of almost 41% to its share price.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s chairman and chief executive, said: "This key transaction strengthens Schneider Electric’s position as a major player in the digital transformation of the engineering and construction industry."

Schneider generates half of its revenues from selling products for buildings and data centres.

RIB is a producer of building information modelling software, which Schneider described as "a highly attractive and fast-growing market". Its 2,700 employees work in more than 50 locations around the world, generating €214m in revenue. It is expected to declare a pre-tax profit of about €60m for 2020.

The move is intended to help Schneider compete in the construction and engineering sector, which it believes will become an "all-digital and all-electric" industry.

Schneider commented in its press release that it was particularly interested in RIB’s iTWO 4.0 "5D BIM" product, which it described as "the world’s first enterprise cloud technology with artificial intelligence … ideally positioned between the 3D design phase and the transactional ERP flows".

RIB’s chief executive Thomas Wolf told Reuters yesterday that the deal would give his company access to "a lot of new clients", as well as providing investment for expansion.  

If the offer is supported by RIB’s shareholders, it is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of the year. According to Reuters, Schneider has already secured 16% of the shares owned by Wolf, RIB’s finance chief, Michael Sauer, and other family shareholders. Wolf and Sauer will retain 9% of the company.

Image: Visitors to a RIB "BIM day" in Oldenburg (RIB)

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