Schneider Agrees to Sell Telvent DTN to TBG for $900 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Schneider Electric SE agreed to sell agricultural-data business Telvent DTN to TBG AG of Switzerland for an enterprise value of $900 million and plans to use the proceeds for a share buyback program.

The business was put up for sale last year after a strategic review found it wasn’t essential to the company, Rueil-Malmaison, France-based Schneider said in a statement Monday. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter this year. TBG is the investment vehicle of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, descendants of the founder of German steel-maker Thyssen, now part of Thyssenkrupp AG.

The deal helps Schneider, the world’s biggest maker of low- and medium-voltage equipment, deliver on a strategy to focus on its most profitable businesses while increasing its exposure to software and services. The company is battling an industrial slowdown in Western Europe and North America that’s hurt its infrastructure business and forced it to be more selective on projects.

Telvent DTN, acquired as part of the 1.4 billion-euro purchase of Telvent in 2011, had revenue of $213 million, Schneider said. The buyer, TBG, is a closely held holding company based in Zurich that focuses on business information services and high-added-value industrial niches, Schneider said. TBG didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

Schneider shares were little changed at 68.64 euros at 3:10 p.m. in Paris, giving the company a market value of 40.7 billion euros ($43.4 billion).

Schneider plans to buy back about 1 billion euros of shares over a two-year period. That follows a 1.5 billion-euro program in 2015-2016.