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Schneider Electric Offers To Acquire Citect

The two companies have signed a Merger Implementation Agreement designed to leverage Schneider’s global reach and Citect’s strengths in SCADA and MES.

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Schneider Electric, through its main Australian subsidiary, Schneider Electric Australia, has made an unsolicited offer to acquire Sydney, Australia-based Citect, for a proposed $80 million for all the issued ordinary shares in Citect. The two companies have entered into a Merger Implementation Agreement that is subject to a number of conditions, including shareholder approval.

Under the proposed transaction, all Citect shareholders will receive a cash payment of $1.50 per share plus a fully franked special dividend of $0.05 per share. The directors of Citect have unanimously resolved to recommend to shareholders and option holders that they vote in favor of the proposed schemes of arrangement in the absence of a superior offer. David Mortimer, chairman of Citect, commented, “Citect’s ability to serve its customers thoroughly and globally will be considerably enhanced with this new development. The Citect board believes that the strategic fit with Schneider Electric will enable Citect’s customers, employees and partners to participate in a promising future.”

Schneider Electric, headquartered near Paris, is a global supplier of electrical distribution, industrial automation and control products. Citect is a global provider of solutions for supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). The companies have a previous strategic relationship, which has resulted in the launch of a number of hardware and software solutions, and share some distributors.

Record growth in America

In other news, Citect has announced that the America’s region has set new records in revenue growth for 2005, with 76 percent year-over-year revenue growth at the end of the third quarter and 800 percent profit growth for the same period. Darren Trumeter, president of Citect in America, attributes the company’s success in the region to its dedicated team and focus on customer service.

Several strategic deals that were closed during the year include a global MES solution project with Energizer, and a large SCADA and MES project with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) valued at $1.6 million. According to Trumeter, about 40 percent of the PG&E project is earmarked for software, and the remaining 60 percent will fund services.

In an interview with Automation World, Trumeter said he felt certain that the proposed acquisition of Citect by Schneider Electric will go through. Among other things, the deal is contingent upon approval by 75 percent of the Citect shareholders. Trumeter added that he had been invited to stay on with the new, merged organization.

“From all views, this looks to be positive. I’m excited about the acquisition, especially if Schneider allows us to run as a separate entity,” said Trumeter, which will allow Citect to maintain its platform independence.

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