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Dealwatch: Linklaters and Ashurst lead on Schneider Electric’s £1.3bn reverse takeover of Aveva

A four-partner team from Linklaters advised France’s Schneider Electric on its £1.3bn reverse takeover of UK engineering software company and Ashurst-client Aveva.

Schneider instructed Linklaters’ big-billing London corporate partner Nick Rumsby to carry out the deal, with the French company taking a 54% stake in Aveva valued at £1.3bn, in exchange for a £550m cash injection to existing shareholders.

The deal will see the former assets of Invensys, bought by Schneider two years ago for £3.4bn, united with Aveva. Rumsby also advised Schneider on the Invensys deal alongside Shearman & Sterling and opposite Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Rumsby was supported on the deal by corporate partners Nick Rees and Richard Good in London and Fabrice de la Morendiere in Paris.

Aveva, which sells design software to manufacturers and power plants, instructed Ashurst for its legal advice, with London-based corporate duo Karen Davies and Jeffrey Sultoon executing the transaction, with support from competition partner Neil Cuninghame.

The combination will see Aveva, which was spun out of Cambridge University in the 1960s, bring in revenues of over £530m. While Aveva’s financial performance was badly affected last year by the sliding price of oil and the subsequent knock on new projects, Schneider sees potential in the servitisation of the manufacturing sector as industry moves to automate more processes and sell maintenance services onto customers.