Emerson’s Transaction with AspenTech Creates a new AspenTech and Accelerate Software Strategy

By Peter Reynolds

Category:
Acquisition or Partnership

Emerson and AspenTech announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to contribute Emerson’s industrial software businesses – OSI Inc. and the Geological Simulation Software business – to AspenTech to create a diversified, high-performance industrial software leader with greater scale, capabilities and technologies ( new AspenTech ). Emerson will also contribute $6.0 billion in cash to new AspenTech, which will be received by AspenTech shareholders, in exchange for a 55% stake in new AspenTech. New AspenTech will offer a highly differentiated industrial software portfolio with the capabilities to support the entire lifecycle of complex operations across a wide range of industry verticals, including design and engineering, operations, maintenance, and asset optimization.

Accelerating Emerson’s Industrial Software Strategy

The transaction accelerates Emerson’s software investment strategy as the company continues to build a higher growth, more diversified and sustainable portfolio, by creating an industrial software company with immediate scale and relevancy in a fast-paced and evolving market. The new company, which will retain the name AspenTech, enables Emerson to realize significant synergies and accelerate its software strategy to drive meaningful value creation. Majority ownership position in a highly valued, pure-play industrial software leader will give Emerson the platform and flexibility to strategically deploy capital for growth through continued investment and M&A. The transaction continues Emerson’s long history of delivering shareholder value. New AspenTech will be fully consolidated into Emerson financials and is expected to be accretive to adjusted EPS after year one.

Emerson and AspenTech Creating a High-Performance Software Leader with Scale and Technology

Following completion of the transaction, new AspenTech will have a global footprint with strong go-to-market capabilities and more than 3,700 employees. On a pro forma basis, new AspenTech is expected to have FY22 annual revenues of $1.1 billion, adjusted EBITDA of approximately $490 million and achieve double-digit annual spend growth through 2026. New AspenTech will have a high growth, predictable business model with 86% of pro forma revenues from software and 14% of revenues from services.

The new AspenTech will be an attractive environment for highly sought-after software talent, offering career opportunities to innovate in a technology-driven culture.

Benefits of the transaction include:

  • New AspenTech Portfolio Spans the Full Asset Lifecycle: The new AspenTech will provide differentiated offerings in Industrial AI and asset optimization with Emerson’s grid modernization technology, advanced distribution management systems and geological simulation software. With Emerson’s strong capabilities, new AspenTech will have an end-to-end software offering and be even better positioned to help customers improve their safety, reliability and production while reducing emissions.
  • Diversified End Markets with Blue-Chip Customer Base: With the additional capabilities of OSI Inc. and Geological Simulation Software, new AspenTech will expand into new, high growth markets. AspenTech recently announced a commitment to invest $35 million in life sciences and metals and mining that will help accelerate adoption of new AspenTech’s solutions. The addition of OSI Inc. will enable new AspenTech to develop its transmission and distribution offering to support power grid modernization and ensure grid reliability. This expanded software capability will build on Emerson’s global life sciences expertise comprised of 3,000 installed control systems, 30 locations and nearly 1,000 project engineering and consulting employees dedicated to active life sciences projects.

New AspenTech’s software is also scalable and adaptable to the emerging green energy markets and will be well-positioned to support blue-chip customers’ sustainability needs in current and new energy transition markets such as biofuels, hydrogen and carbon capture.

  • Significant Revenue and Cost Synergy Opportunities: Over time, new AspenTech is expected to drive significant revenue and synergy opportunities by transitioning OSI Inc. and the Geological Simulation Software business to a token and subscription-based business model, which AspenTech has successfully achieved for its existing portfolio. The token model enables customers to access a broader suite of software modules. The transaction will enhance the two companies’ existing commercial alliance and increase collaboration between Emerson and new AspenTech as they share technologies, drive innovation and develop new products through their nearly 1,400 software engineers.

New AspenTech expects to deliver multiple, specific revenue growth opportunities by leveraging Emerson’s $120 billion global installed base and its sales force of nearly 12,000 salespeople. Cost synergies are expected to be driven by scale efficiencies, including shared R&D and SG&A organizations, overhead and spend optimization. New AspenTech expects to achieve $110 million of total EBITDA synergies by year five, of which $40 million are from cost savings. Emerson also expects to benefit from the enhanced commercial alliance with new AspenTech, driving $45 million of EBITDA synergies.

  • Best-in-Class Financial Profile: New AspenTech will be a leading player in the industrial software market with scale and strong free cash flow generation to drive innovation and growth. On a pro forma basis, the company is expected to deliver double-digit revenue and free cash flow growth over the next five years. Over time, as new AspenTech delivers on its synergy opportunities and completes the business model transitions of the OSI Inc. and Geological Simulation Software businesses, it is expected to deliver a higher software and recurring revenue mix and stronger adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow margins.
  • Strong Platform for Future Acquisitions: Mergers and acquisitions will be a key pillar of new AspenTech’s go-forward strategy given the continued evolution and consolidation of the industrial software industry. With an expanded solution set, broader global footprint and larger installed base, new AspenTech will have access to a wider range of acquisition and investment targets across industries, products and geographies. With greater financial flexibility and the support of a well-capitalized Emerson, new AspenTech will have the scale and financial capacity to pursue and complete larger strategic transactions, quickly integrate targets and realize synergies.

Terms of the Transaction

Under the terms of the agreement, AspenTech shareholders will receive approximately $87 per share in cash and 0.42 shares of common stock of the new AspenTech, a newly formed company, for each share of AspenTech common stock they own, which implies total consideration of approximately $160 per AspenTech share, and a total transaction equity value of approximately $11 billion before synergies. The total implied per share consideration amount represents a premium of approximately 27% compared to AspenTech’s closing stock price on October 6, 2021, the last trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential transaction, and a premium of approximately 26% to AspenTech’s 30-day VWAP on October 6, 2021. Including expected synergies, the total value increases to $176 per share, a 40% premium compared to AspenTech’s closing stock price on October 6, 2021. Upon completion of the transaction, Emerson will own 55% of the new AspenTech on a fully diluted basis and AspenTech shareholders will own 45%.

Conclusion of Strategic Process

Following a comprehensive review of AspenTech’s strategic opportunities to increase shareholder value, AspenTech’s Board concluded that Emerson is the ideal strategic partner for AspenTech and that this transaction structure provides the best opportunity to drive continued growth. Additionally, the transaction delivers immediate cash value to AspenTech shareholders, while also enabling them to participate in the long-term upside of new AspenTech.

New AspenTech Headquarters, Leadership and Governance

New AspenTech will be headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts and Antonio Pietri, the current CEO of AspenTech, will be the CEO.

Following the close of the transaction, the Board of Directors of new AspenTech will consist of nine directors, five of whom will be designated by Emerson. Jill Smith, the current Chair of the Board of Directors AspenTech, will serve as Chair of the Board of Directors of new AspenTech.

Path to Completion

The transaction has been approved unanimously by Emerson’s Board of Directors, and by unanimous vote of those AspenTech directors present (one director was absent, but confirmed full support).  The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2022 and is subject to approval by AspenTech shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Upon completion of the transaction, new AspenTech will trade on NASDAQ under ticker symbol AZPN.

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