Aveva buys SoftBank-backed OSIsoft for £3.8bn

Cambridge-based software giant Aveva has spent five billion US dollars (£3.8 billion) on a SoftBank-backed data company from California.

The acquisition will see the UK company take over a business on the other side of the pond that it believes will compliment its own.

OSIsoft collects huge streams of data from mines, factories, or other industrial sites, and helps a company analyse it.

Founded in 1980 by Dr Patrick Kennedy, the business calls itself a global leader in real-time industrial data software and services.

It employs 1,400 people and is used at 14,000 sites across 127 countries, counting nine of the Global Fortune Top 10 pharmaceutical companies among its customers, as well as most of the world’s main oil and gas firms.

In an online ad, OSIsoft asks: “How come your data isn’t performing incredible feats? How come you haven’t achieved digital transformation nirvana yet?”

It promises to collect data and turn it “into insight” for customers.

OSIsoft had 152.2 million dollars (£116 million) in adjusted earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) on revenue of 488.5 million dollars (£373 million) in the most recent financial year.

Its ownership is currently split between Dr Kennedy and his family, who own just over 50% of its shares, SoftBank, with just under 45%, and Mitsui & Co, which owns the remaining 5%.

Aveva chief executive Craig Hayman said: “The acquisition of OSIsoft is perfectly in line with our strategic vision and it will accelerate the enlarged group’s role in the digitisation of the industrial world, which is being driven by a need for sustainability, the industrial internet of things, cloud, data visualisation and artificial intelligence.

“The acquisition will enable Aveva to broaden and deepen its relationships with existing and new customers and bring a more comprehensive product portfolio to market.”

Dr Kennedy said: “Joining forces with Aveva enhances and extends our ability to deliver on our key commitments to our customers, partners and employees.

“Together we will be better able to service the largest digital transformation projects in history.”