The Schneider head
office in France
 
Rueil-Malmaison, France — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 June 2011 – Global specialist in energy management Schneider Electric has announced that it is bidding to buy software maker Telvent for US$40/share, or about US$2 billion. The acquisition would give Schneider, which is a massive power equipment maker, more software and IT capabilities for the power grid.

Revealing this in an announcement here, Schneider also announced that it planned to buy 74% of Luminous Power Technologies, which makes power grid gear like batteries and inverters, for about US$310 million. Luminous is based in New Delhi, India, while Telvent is based in Madrid, Spain, and is 40% owned by Spanish conglomerate Abengoa.

Schneider CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said on a conference call that the Telvent deal “reinforces Schneider Electric’s positions in three key infrastructure markets: smart grid, efficient infrastructures, and smart cities,” reports Bloomberg. Those three areas are where Schneider’s power gear competitors are ramping up too, including ABB, Siemens, GE, and even Toshiba.

About a year ago, Swiss electrical equipment giant ABB jumped feet first into the smart grid with the purchase of software maker Ventyx (from Vista Equity Partners) for over US$1 billion.
Then in January of this year, ABB acquired another smart grid software company Obvient.

Siemens has announced a flurry of new projects and partnerships over the past couple of years, looking to add on smart grid software, and has a goal to double its current growth rate in the smart grid sector to capture about US$8.5 billion in global business over the next five years.

GE has acquired smart meter tech startup Remote Energy Monitoring, as well as Opal Software, which makes software and services for smart grid network testing and management. And Toshiba is buying smart meter maker Landis+Gyr for US$2.3 billion.

Schneider has made other acquisitions in the past, including through a joint partnership with Alstom, the purchase of the transmission and distribution business of Areva for US$3.25 billion. Schneider also bought the energy procurement and energy management provider Summit Energy for US$268 million earlier this year.

Schneider’s US$2 billion offer “’ at $40 per share “’ for Telvent was 16% higher than Telvent’s closing share price on Monday, and 36% higher than Telvent’s average share over the past three months, said Schneider. Telvent had 2010 sales of US$1.09 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of US$165.96 million. The company’s shares rose 15.27% on the news of the deal.