Emerson's software units, AspenTech to merge in $11 bln deal

Emerson Electric Co is displayed on a screen on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Emerson Electric Co is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N) said on Monday it would merge its software units with smaller rival Aspen Technology (AZPN.O) in a deal for about $11 billion, boosting its industrial automation business that caters to a swathe of sectors ranging from utility and mining to chemicals and automotive.

The combined industrial software company will comprise Emerson's grid modernization technology and geological simulation software, and AspenTech's software offerings to mining, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries.

"We saw an attractive opportunity to accelerate our software strategy to capitalize on the rapidly evolving industrial software landscape," Emerson Chief Executive Lal Karsanbhai said.

"Our customers are increasingly seeking partners to help realize stronger performance as they automate workflows."

The merged entity's software will also support sustainability needs in green energy markets such as biofuels, hydrogen and carbon capture, Emerson said.

The cash-and-stock deal, announced on Monday, is for about $160 per share, and AspenTech shareholders will receive $87 and 0.42 share of the combined company for each share they currently own.

The price implies a premium of about 27% to AspenTech's close on Oct. 6, before Bloomberg News first reported talks between the two companies, and about 13% to the stock's last close on Friday.

Emerson also said it would own 55% and AspenTech shareholders will own the rest in the new company that will retain AspenTech's name and will be led by current Chief Executive Officer Antonio Pietri.

The deal, which is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings after the first year, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

AspenTech has a market capitalization of about $9.49 billion, while Emerson is valued at more than $57 billion, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Reporting by Mrinmay Dey, Shubham Kalia and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M, Amy Caren Daniel and Uttaresh.V

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