Aveva investors plan to reject £9.5bn Schneider takeover [Private Equity Insights]

Mawer and M&G say £9.5bn bid from French group undervalues UK software developer

A top-10 investor in Aveva plans to reject Schneider Electric’s £9.5bn takeover of the software developer on the grounds that it represents an “opportunistic bid” that undervalues the UK group.

Schneider said on Wednesday that it would pay £31 a share for the 40% of Aveva it did not already own – a 41% premium over the company’s closing share price in August, before the potential offer emerged.

Peter Lampert, a portfolio manager at Canada-based Mawer Investment management, which has C$77bn in assets under management and is one of the top five external shareholders in Aveva, said the offer price did not reflect the long-term potential of the company.

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“Aveva is a great business with a very promising long-term outlook,” he said. “It’s an opportunistic bid taking advantage of share price weakness in recent months.”

Schneider’s takeover attempt is the latest example of an undervalued UK company being snapped up by a foreign buyer or removed from the stock market by private equity.

Schneider aims to close the deal in the first quarter of 2023, but will need to secure support from at least 75% of minority shareholders in a vote set for mid-November.

Given the French group cannot vote, it would only take about 10% of the overall shareholder base to reject it for the deal to be blocked.

Source: Financial Times

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Author: Sebastian