Aveva Is in Exclusive Talks to Buy SoftBank-Backed OSIsoft

Aveva Group Plc is in advanced talks to acquire industrial software maker OSIsoft LLC for about $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aveva, which combined with Schneider Electric SE’s industrial software arm in 2018, has entered exclusive talks about a purchase of OSIsoft and could announce a deal within weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Aveva, based in Cambridge, England, beat out several other industrial bidders, the people said. Emerson Electric Co. also considered an offer, people familiar with the matter said in June.

Aveva confirmed the talks in a statement. “There can be no certainty that the discussions between Aveva and OSIsoft will lead to any agreement concerning the possible acquisition,” the company said.

OSIsoft Founder and Chief Executive Officer J. Patrick Kennedy, along with minority owner SoftBank Group Corp., have been working with advisers on a potential sale of the company, Bloomberg News previously reported.

SoftBank’s stake is held in its Vision Fund.

Representatives for OSIsoft, SoftBank, Schneider and Kennedy declined to comment.

The world’s biggest industrial companies have been acquiring technology firms for the past few years as they shift their focus from machinery to software and automation.

Deals in the technology space have been resilient during the pandemic, with Analog Devices Inc. announcing a $20.9 billion transaction for rival chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products Inc. last month. Nvidia Corp. is in advanced talks to buy SoftBank-backed Arm Ltd., Bloomberg News reported last month.

OSIsoft, based in San Leandro, California, sells software for use in sectors including oil and gas, utilities, manufacturing and pharmaceutical development, according to its website.

SoftBank, which acquired a minority stake in the company in 2017, has been selling assets including a large chunk of its stake in T-Mobile US Inc. to finance stock buybacks and pay down debt. Its Vision Fund lost 1.9 trillion yen ($17.9 billion) last fiscal year after writing down the value of investments in firms including WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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