Schneider Electric's US$5.2 billion acquisition of Invensys will add industrial automation and software to the former's business.
Schneider Electric is a major player in power equipment and energy efficiency products but did not have a big slice of the industrial automation business.
Invensys has a strong portfolio of process automation hardware and software solutions and has a significant presence in chemical plants, oil refineries and power stations.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider’s chief executive, told the Financial Times that Invensys added “a very significant brick of technology, which completes our solutions”. Tricoire operates out of Hong Kong, signifying his company's focus on China.
Invensys Chairman Nigel Rudd recommended shareholders to accept the Schneider's offer. His letter to shareholders said: "For Invensys, there will be significant business benefits in the combination with Schneider Electric, including benefits of scale, opportunities to cross-sell products across their respective client bases and ultimately significant opportunities to enhance growth."
With this acquisition, Schneider is better equipped to compete with other global players such as Siemens and ABB. With the former sorting out its leadership issues, this may well be the time for Schneider to move up the ladder.
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2013 and details of the new organisational structure, streamlined product portfolio and management team will likely be sorted out only in 2014.