Category Archives: Mergers and Acquisitions

Emerson allies with AspenTech

Press release from ARC Forum:

AUSTIN, TX and BEDFORD, MASS., Feb. 12, 2018 – Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and AspenTech (NASDAQ: AZPN) announced today they have teamed up to deliver asset optimization software solutions along with global automation technologies and operational consulting services. Together, the two industry leaders will help customers optimize production and drive operational excellence.

AspenTech’s broad suite of asset optimization software creates value across all phases of the asset lifecycle – design, operate and maintain – in capital intensive and complex projects and operations, supporting Emerson’s Project Certainty and Operational Certainty initiatives. Emerson’s global footprint, automation engineering services and software, extensive large-scale project execution and consulting capabilities complement AspenTech’s technology footprint. Collectively, these capabilities can be deployed as solutions in both conventional and cloud-based architectures.

“Emerson and AspenTech are both highly focused on digital technologies and services that deliver measurable improvements and value to our customers’ bottom line,” says David N. Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson. “Together, we are well positioned to help our customers navigate the best path in this era of digital transformation and achieve Top Quartile performance.” Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies.

The alliance will initially focus on three key areas: engineering software, including high-fidelity simulation to help validate project design and train operators before start-up; manufacturing and supply chain software, including advanced process control software designed for highly complex operations; and asset performance management software to improve plant reliability.

“Working with Emerson, we will help more organizations drive higher total shareholder returns with a relentless focus on operational excellence,” says Antonio Pietri, president and CEO of AspenTech. “We look forward to helping make the best companies even better by optimizing the design, operation and maintenance lifecycle with software and insight to run assets faster, safer, longer and greener.”

Together, the two companies will provide holistic optimization strategies that rely on real-time data, advanced analytics enabled by machine learning, and rich process knowledge to bring measurable business improvements in production, as well as in the areas of reliability, safety and energy management.

Emerson Acquires ProSys Inc.

Emerson Completes Acquisition of ProSys, Inc.

Deal adds new software capabilities to improve plant performance and brings new technologies to Emerson’s Operational Certainty initiative

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) announced on the 17th of January that it has acquired ProSys Inc., a global supplier of software and services that increase production and safety for the chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and refining industries. By building intuitive processes for plant operators, these solutions make everything from everyday operations to responding during abnormal situations easier.

“The staff of ProSys are all friends of long standing and the INSIDER wishes them all well and congratulates them on their success,” said Walt Boyes, editor/publisher of the INSIDER.

“Adding ProSys’ differentiated technologies and expertise allows us to help our customers improve plant performance, safety and profitability by optimizing their human and automation resources,” said Mike Train, executive president, Emerson Automation Solutions. “With ProSys, we can provide innovative control and operator performance capabilities to make control room operators far more effective.”

Executive President Mike Train

ProSys’ portfolio includes solutions that help operators manage alarms critical to plant production and safety, and efficiently handle changing plant states. In addition, ProSys provides modern, high performance and intuitive graphics for better operator communications.

ProSys complements Emerson’s May 2017 acquisition of MYNAH Technologies, which provides dynamic simulation and operator training software. Together, these technologies embed expertise to help operators navigate plant systems safely and efficiently, and prepare customers to accommodate the changing state and age of the industrial workforce.

“Our specialization in software and services that increase operator performance builds on Emerson’s market leadership in automation control systems,” said Dustin Beebe, president and CEO at ProSys. “By working together as one, we can provide even more operational and financial value to customers.” Beebe will join Emerson Automation Solutions as vice president, control and operator performance.

Dustin Beebe will join Emerson as Vice President of control and operator performance

The ProSys software portfolio supports Emerson’s Operational Certainty™ program designed to help industrial companies achieve Top Quartile performance in areas of safety, reliability, and production.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. For more information about ProSys Inc., visit https://www.prosys.com/.

Rockwell’s Automation Perspectives Aptly Named

Insiderlogo3My tweets and retweets from Rockwell Automation’s Automation Perspectives on Tuesday:

Tue, 08:13: Rockwell Automation’s President and CEO Blake Moret welcomes Automation Perspectives to Houston #houstonstrong… https://t.co/0zafvi1YQx

Tue, 08:15: $6.3 Billion in FY2017 Sales and a shareholder value curve outperforming the Dow… https://t.co/mdV3o60ASC

Tue, 08:16: #AF2017 If Rockwell had a company song, we’d all be standing and singing it. https://t.co/MhZheD93r9

Tue, 08:19: #AutoFair17 The Connected Enterprise is based on people. https://t.co/NaNzVmA0m2

Tue, 08:20: #AutoFair17 The value of digitization in Smart Manufacturing— Frank Kulaszewicz https://t.co/HM3pb6BkHK

Tue, 08:21: #AutoFair17 We believe that manufacturing will change dramatically in the next 25 years because of higher levels o… https://t.co/iSY1G7nus9

Tue, 08:23: Digital transformation enables better design. Digital design is sustained by digital operation— emulated by the Dig… https://t.co/PrRmJvi25O

Tue, 08:24: RT @m_littlefield: CEO @ROKAutomation lays out strategy. Stays focused on Connected Enterprise. Stressed corp values, improved control & an…

Tue, 08:26: #AutoFair17 Mixed Reality visualization https://t.co/WBy2ztmaHP

Tue, 08:32: #AutoFair17 Factory Talk Team One is working, and we know, because we are watching! https://t.co/96e8r55gZW

Tue, 08:33: #AutoFair17 Frank K introduces Andrew Ellis to talk about Project SCIO. https://t.co/6K4jlWuQwB

Tue, 08:34: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, Prescriptive —we must adopt advanced analytics. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/EXg9c8Atap

Tue, 08:36: Lack of data isn’t the problem. https://t.co/PQXNYdXrSR

Tue, 08:38: #AutoFair17 Data ingress from the edge…but the secret is in the middle— the data orchestration provides the real… https://t.co/GIR0uTuPyE

Tue, 08:41: SCIO discovers devices and ingests data and uses a storyboard model to display mashed data and construct work flows… https://t.co/ifbaRDgz5u

Tue, 08:43: Scio storyboards… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/y5GMVIc9Pv

Tue, 08:45: There are no limits to data quantities or data types— not just realtime or transactional. Scio ingests and mashes a… https://t.co/POg5BhPFIq

Tue, 08:48: #AutoFair17 What is cool about Rockwell is that the top executives both know and understand the technology they are… https://t.co/n6OCHXYaOM

Tue, 08:54: Scio can get you to predictive and prescriptive analytics. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/IT33dy9wBV
Tue, 08:56: Wind speed and direction into “function bubbles” to control blades of wind turbines. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/XBAVzXVYwS

Tue, 08:57: World class partners and ecosystem are ESSENTIAL! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/SYjlMONAw1

Tue, 08:58: Gavin Rennick “We are in Houston, the home of oil and gas. Brent crossing 60 for the first time in weeks.”… https://t.co/DazsAGJNaY

Tue, 09:00: Rennick extols the interconnected world— about 8 billion devices today, and in a decade, over a trillion. Data mana… https://t.co/t5Fs3XWHvx

Tue, 09:03: Rennick: This outcome is very material. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/fZ9QKohhx5

Tue, 09:04: Here’s what digital technology does to the ecosystem. #AutoFair17 Excellence in cybersecurity is really the ticket… https://t.co/LlPwVKQmkf

Tue, 09:07: Very rapidly, we were enveloped in the digital technology ecosystem… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/oe2f28bT5I

Tue, 09:09: Our customers’ goals are not surprising… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/OvqraO5nsW

Tue, 09:12: Some of the proofs of concept failed, some of them worked—we learned. Amazing what happens when SME works with a da… https://t.co/nGQIy2v4Ym

Tue, 09:14: Schlumberger predicts…the oracle! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/eV0VXFiJcO

Tue, 09:15: We’ve been using it, and our customers have too. It works. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/opB8O4qc2P

Tue, 09:16: Here’s how to drill a well… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/GHQDrvBs6H

Tue, 09:18: We have had 10 companies evaluate this solution for many months and they agree it works and is very valuable.… https://t.co/l8mX5V7f3e

Tue, 09:19: No matter what we did, we kept running into this company called Rockwell Automation! #AutoFair17 https://t.co/XG3OIOPUJf

Tue, 09:20: We don’t call it a digital twin— we call it a digital avatar. We have an affinity with the color blue. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/lnFliImmP4

Tue, 09:22: We have a number of proof points… #AutoFair17 https://t.co/gxiCht8OIY

Tue, 09:59: #AutoFair17 Getting ready to resume Automation Perspectives— The whole enterprise of Rockwell Automation is so crit… https://t.co/LEdsyTW4bJ

Tue, 10:01: #AutoFair17 Our industry has a problem with workforce development… https://t.co/QLMndwEa0y

Tue, 10:02: #AutoFair17 Manpower’s Chris Layden talks about workforce… https://t.co/g5RN2H94w7

Tue, 10:03: #AutoFair17 We connect 4 people a minute to meaningful work in the USA. https://t.co/mEgPjG4nIu

Tue, 10:05: The structural changes in the labor market are here to stay! #AutoFair17 Technology is a force for speed of change. https://t.co/Vyg18vgcAX

Tue, 10:07: Big change from “job for life” to “career for me.” https://t.co/sOGoldoQgU

Tue, 10:09: #AutoFair2017 Skilled trades toughest to find. https://t.co/7bMpGuwNsE

Tue, 10:10: #AutoFair17 You can’t build a plant where there aren’t any workers. https://t.co/KocZWJpjVL

Tue, 10:11: 24% of manufacturing workers are over 55 #AutoFair17 https://t.co/VaoJnU2gmM

Tue, 10:12: #AutoFair17 Plateauing… https://t.co/YaqfGmDIzI

Tue, 10:13: #AutoFair17 Education needed is changing https://t.co/Pc1Pyqvez2

Tue, 10:15: #AutoFair17 We have to prioritize who we are training https://t.co/qPjO4wHGPr

Tue, 10:17: #AutoFair17 Introducing Blake to talk about the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing https://t.co/f2dJh8bKwd

Tue, 10:18: #AutoFair17 We chose Manpower because we like to partner with the leader in Workforce. We know the curriculum and t… https://t.co/AL9hsAE04k

Tue, 10:19: RT @m_littlefield: Skilled Trades toughest job to fill in US @manpower predicts 2.5MM jobs unfilled by 2025. Doesn’t even consider Digitali…

Tue, 10:19: RT @DJGreenfield: Good job @SchneiderElec! Glad to see you make this move. https://t.co/JHcuOXPHtg

Tue, 10:21: Hundreds of thousands of veterans are leaving the service with the basic skills they need for manufacturing.… https://t.co/ze9I1SvVJq

Tue, 10:23: #AutoFair17 We are ramping up rapidly to meet our goal. https://t.co/JvMtzEbouo

Tue, 10:25: But is 12 weeks enough?? https://t.co/iQtzCKwz7U

Tue, 10:25: RT @cmgonzalez85: The Recruitment Difficultly Index shows how hard it is to fill jobs across the U.S. The number one job missing is the ski…

Tue, 10:26: RT @AutomationFair: “It’s not what to train for; it’s about how skills & jobs are evolving within digital manufacturing & design.” #AutoFai…

Tue, 10:26: RT @AutomationFair: “No single company, organization or institution can solve this skills gap alone.” – @njneuman @manpower https://t.co/Jj…

Tue, 10:27: RT @AutomationFair: 75% of employers say new skills are required in the next 2 yrs, but many are not able to define them @ChrisLayden https…

Tue, 10:29: And they want to blow up this enterprise— for what? For the money! No. This enterprise is critical for the future o… https://t.co/XuqiBT85I2

Tue, 10:30: https://t.co/HxsBQynTtG via @youtube #AutoFair17 Here’s the short version…

Tue, 10:31: RT @m_littlefield: Blake Moret driving force of @ROKcareers & @manpower Academy of Advanced Manufacturing. 12 week prgm & vet grads guarant…

Tue, 10:32: Joe Allie asks for all the veterans in the audience to stand. Then he introduces the “plank holders” of the Academy. https://t.co/leDZLjfqQI

Tue, 10:32: RT @AutomationFair: “Every one of the veterans who finish this program, will have a job.” – Blake Moret https://t.co/8gW9TXLekk https://t.c…

Tue, 10:33: RT @pdpuess: Couldn’t be more proud @ROKAutomation Academy of Advanced Manufacturing high tech training for our returning vets! #AutoFair1…

Tue, 10:35: Scott Bingham, Travis Tolbert, Leandre Davis, Christopher Allison…some of the first graduates. #AutoFair17 https://t.co/cQLMXDpvG2

Tue, 10:39: Typical day is hands on supported by theory— very intensive — Scott Bingham #AutoFair17 https://t.co/7eKzlWEjcI

Tue, 10:40: RT @AutomationFair: We couldn’t be more proud of these grads! https://t.co/CtOhl5lAhE

Tue, 10:41: RT @mchlguilfoyle: #AutoFair17 panel with 4 of 14 grads from first class of Academy of #advancedmanufacturing. Transitioning #veterans to w…

Tue, 10:50: RT @ManpowerGroup: #Veterans have the work ethic and real world experience that hiring managers want. We’ve partnered with @ROKAutomation t…

Tue, 10:54: Travis Tolbert just accepted a position with a paper company as a process optimization specialist. #autofair17

Tue, 10:56: Scott Bingham also accepted a position. Leandre Davis and Christopher Allison are in the final stages of interviewi… https://t.co/6dyTuNs7X3

Tue, 11:04: RT @m_littlefield: Looks like it based on the job offers coming in! https://t.co/mh0KoALe9z

Tue, 11:06: #AutoFair17 John McDermott winds it all up. https://t.co/7UvLtNQCW0

Tue, 11:12: #AutoFair17 Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Thursday

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ABB Doubles Down on Electric Business-Buys GE Industrial Solutions

ABB appears to be signalling that electrification is more important to them than anything else, including manufacturing and process automation. And GE is divesting itself of one of its historical core competencies and businesses. Read the press release:

ABB today announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business. GE Industrial Solutions has deep customer relationships in more than 100 countries and an established installed base with strong roots in North America, ABB’s biggest market. GE Industrial Solutions is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has about 13,500 employees around the world. In 2016, GE Industrial Solutions had revenues of approximately $2.7 billion, with an operational EBITDA margin of approximately 8 percent1 and an operational EBITA margin of approximately 6 percent1. ABB will acquire GE Industrial Solutions for $2.6 billion; the transaction will be operationally accretive in year one. ABB expects to realize approximately $200 million of annual cost synergies in year five, which will be key in bringing GE Industrial Solutions to peer performance. As part of the transaction and overall value creation, ABB and GE have agreed to establish a long-term, strategic supply relationship for GE Industrial Solutions products and ABB products that GE sources today.

“With GE Industrial Solutions, we strengthen our Number 2 position in electrification globally and expand our access to the attractive North American market,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Combined with the long-term strategic supply relationship with GE, this transaction creates significant value for our shareholders.”

He added: “Together with the GE Industrial Solutions team, we will execute our well-established plans in a disciplined way to bring this business as part of the global ABB family back to peer performance. With this next step of active portfolio management, we continue to shift ABB’s center of gravity, in line with our Next Level strategy, by strengthening competitiveness, mainly in the North American market, and lowering risk with an early-cycle business.”

“This combination brings together two global businesses with a broad complement of electrical protection and distribution assets,” said John Flannery, CEO of GE. “ABB values our people, domain expertise, and our ability to operate in the segments where we have depth and experience. GE will also benefit through an expanded strategic supply relationship with ABB as the two companies work together.”

GE Industrial Solutions will be integrated into ABB’s Electrification Products (EP) division, resulting in a unique global portfolio and very comprehensive offering for North American and global customers. They will benefit from ABB’s innovative technologies and the ABB AbilityTM digital offering coupled with GE Industrial Solutions’ complementary solutions and market access. Included in the acquisition is a long-term right to use the GE brand. ABB will retain the GE Industrial Solutions management team and build upon its experienced sales force. After closing, this transaction will have an initial dampening effect to EP’s operational EBITA margin. ABB commits to returning EP to its target margin corridor of 15-19 percent during 2020.

Tarak Mehta, President of ABB’s EP division, said: “This acquisition strengthens our position as partner of choice for electrification globally and in North America. We look forward to working with GE Industrial Solutions’ and ABB’s customers and channel partners to create new opportunities in this highly attractive core market for our division. We have a clear integration plan to realize the synergies of this combination and to bring our combined business back into the target margin corridor during 2020.”

ABB’s EP division delivers more than 1.5 million products to customers around the world every day through a global network of channel partners and end-customers. EP offers a comprehensive portfolio of low- and medium-voltage products and solutions for a smarter, more reliable flow of electricity from substation to socket.

Given this transaction, ABB has decided to put the previously announced share buyback program on hold.

The transaction is expected to close in H1 2018, subject to customary regulatory clearances. Credit Suisse and Dyal Co. acted as financial advisors to ABB, and Davis Polk & Wardwell provided legal counsel.

Third time may be the charm! Schneider does the Aveva deal– Again!

After failing twice to consummate the deal, Schneider Electric announced on September 5 that they had done the deal– again.

Britain’s Aveva Group said on Tuesday it had agreed to combine with Schneider Electric‘s software business to create a London-listed leader in industrial software worth more than 3 billion pounds ($3.88 billion).

France’s Schneider will take a 60 percent stake in the enlarged group under the terms of the deal, which is structured as a reverse takeover, the companies said.

The tie-up comes after two abandoned attempts to agree a deal in 2015 and last year.

The agreement will close, hopefully, in December.

It still isn’t clear what the market impact on automation will be. And one wonders what the future for independent or software only companies will be.

Blake Moret Finally Gets the Cherry

After a year of being CEO, the Rockwell Automation Board has finally named Blake Moret to the post of Chairman. He, of course, succeeds Keith Nosbusch in that role, as he succeeded Nosbusch as President and CEO.

Rockwell will continue to have an independent “lead director,” Donald R. Parfet, who said: “Since Blake became CEO and joined the board in July 2016, he has demonstrated that he is exceptionally well-qualified to lead the company and the board. Blake is a champion of the company’s high performance culture with an extraordinary ability to inspire and connect with customers, employees, partners and the leadership team. The board is confident that this leadership structure will continue to drive the company’s success.”

Moret has already done some interesting things, like the acquisition of Maverick Technologies.. The jury is still out on that one.

It is always interesting to watch a major company CEO finding his feet and getting going.

Honeywell Amps Up Cyber

Honeywell, which has always had an extremely proactive industrial control cyber security posture, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Nextnine, a privately held provider of security management solutions and technologies for industrial cyber security. The addition of Nextnine’s industry-leading security solutions and secure remote service capabilities will enhance the Company’s existing range of innovative cyber security technologies and significantly increase Honeywell’s Connected Plant cyber security customer base.

Nextnine’s flagship technology, ICS Shield, protects industrial sites from cyber security attacks and enables remote monitoring of assets. It complements Honeywell’s extensive cyber security portfolio with a solution that is used at more than 6,200 sites globally across the oil and gas, utility, chemical, mining and manufacturing sectors. Previously, ICS Shield had to be deployed separately for each control system vendor, resulting in multiple and separate installations at a single customer site. With this acquisition, customers will be able to deploy and operate a single system, thereby simplifying and better securing their entire site with Honeywell’s proven capability to provide multi-vendor solutions.

Founded in 1998, Nextnine has been backed to date by Infinity VC, XT Hi-Tech and several other prominent investors.

“Each day, the number of attempted cyber attacks on industrial facilities and critical infrastructure around the world increases,” said Vimal Kapur, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “This acquisition shows our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of cyber security solutions to protect and defend their industrial control systems and process control networks. Honeywell’s extensive global reach will increase Nextnine’s availability to a broader range of customers.”

Nextnine’s security solutions also will be a key enabler of Honeywell Connected Plant, which combines Honeywell’s unmatched industrial expertise, software and digital technologies to make its customers’ operations more reliable, profitable and secure than ever before possible. Cyber security is a critical part of that program.

The question, of course, is how much Honeywell’s customer base believes in cyber security.