Paul Hastings-led PE firm sells software maker to Rockwell Automation

The Paul Hastings law firm in Washington, D.C., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Paul Hasting guides longtime client Francisco Partners

(Reuters) - Paul Hastings is guiding investment firm Francisco Partners in its $2.2 billion cash deal to sell manufacturing software maker Plex Systems to Rockwell Automation Inc.

Rockwell announced the deal on Friday as the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based industrial automation equipment maker looks to boost its revenue from cloud offerings.

Many industries have seen a push to automate their operations and manage their manufacturing, supply chain and finances remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives for Rockwell did not respond to requests for comment and the company’s counsel information was not immediately available.

The Paul Hastings team is led by mergers and acquisitions partners Mike Kennedy and Jeffrey Wolf.

Francisco Partners is one of the firm’s longstanding private equity clients, and Kennedy and Wolf have been an instrumental part of the relationship.

Both partners were part of the team that advised the investment firm and peer TPG Capital on its recent $4 billion acquisition of cloud-based integration platform Boomi from Dell Technologies Inc, according to a May firm press release.

The firm has also advised technology-focused Francisco Partners on other deals related to its portfolio companies. In January, the firm said it guided the investment firm on a merger between its portfolio company Consignor and Unifaun, which both make transportation management software, according to a firm press release.

Francisco’s deal to sell Plex to Rockwell is expected to wrap up in Rockwell’s fiscal fourth quarter.

Plex's platform helps customers connect, automate, track and analyze their operations and supply chains, Rockwell said.

The Plex acquisition is part of the roughly $2.74 trillion worth of M&A deals announced so far this year, according to data firm Refinitiv. That’s up more than 130% from the combined value of the M&A deals announced during the same time last year.

Read more: Rockwell Automation to buy Plex Systems for $2.22 bln

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Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes.