(Bloomberg) -- Aveva Group Plc shareholders backed a £9.9 billion ($11.9 billion) buyout offer from Schneider Electric SE, after a prolonged battle from investors who wanted a higher price for the UK software company.
Some 83% of investors voted in favor, according to a company statement on Friday, giving a green light for French industrial conglomerate Schneider to buy the roughly 41% of Aveva it doesn’t already own. The acquisition now faces a final court hearing in the first quarter of 2023, after which the deal would conclude.
Aveva shares rose 0.2% to 31.89 in London, while Schneider dropped 0.2% to 142.44 euros as of 2:56 p.m. in Paris.
Schneider’s offer is a 41% premium to Aveva’s share price on Aug. 23, the day before Bloomberg News first reported on a possible bid. Earlier in November, Schneider upped that bid by 4% to £32.25 per share, after claims from some investors that its initial offer was opportunistic in the wake of a rout in technology stock. Aveva stock had declined 47% in the 12 months before Bloomberg reported that Schneider was weighing the buyout.
Schneider, which already owns about 59% of Aveva, had said the latest price will be its final offer unless a rival bidder emerges. Hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management, which was building a stake in Aveva, as well as M&G and Canada’s Mawer Investment Managementwere among the shareholders who resisted the deal at the previous price.
Cambridge, England-based Aveva provides software tools for utilities, oil and gas producers, transportation firms and other companies, according to its website. Schneider took control of the group after agreeing in 2017 to combine its own industrial software business with the British company’s. Aveva has since bulked up further through acquisitions, buying SoftBank Group Corp.-backed industrial software maker Osisoft in 2020 at a valuation of $5 billion including debt.
(Updated with additional context)
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.