Aconex receives $1.6 billion takeover offer from Oracle
US technology giant will buy ASX-listed construction software group Aconex in a $1.6 billion deal.
The deal, to be done under a scheme of arrangement, will see Oracle offer $7.80 a share for the Melbourne-based company, founded by Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot in 2000.
The offer represents a whopping 47 per cent premium to Aconex’s last close.
Mr Jasper, who is also the chief executive of the company, will remain with the business under Oracle’s ownership.
“The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people and geography,” he said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.
“As co-founders of Aconex, both Rob Phillpot and I remain committed to the business and are excited about the opportunity to advance our collective vision on a larger scale, and the benefits this combination will deliver to our customers.”
It has been a dramatic year for the pair, who watched Aconex’s shares plunge a staggering 45 per cent in January after the company shocked the market with a profit warning.
But after touching a low of $3.08 in February, the stock has steadily regained ground amid a global infrastructure boom, and closed on Friday at $5.29.
The $7.80-a-share offer is well below the most recent peak of $8.28 hit in July 2016. However Aconex chairman Adam Lewis said the price offered by Oracle was strong.
“Oracle’s offer of $7.80 per share represents a significant premium and a high degree of certainty of value to shareholders through the cash offer and limited conditionality,” he said in a statement.
The board of Aconex has unanimously backed the bid.
Oracle said the deal would allow it to provide an end-to-end offering for project management.
“Delivering projects on time and on budget are the highest strategic imperatives for any engineering and construction organisation,” said Oracle Mike Sicilia, the senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s construction and engineering global business unit.
“With the addition of Aconex, we significantly advance our vision of offering the most comprehensive cloud-based project management solution for this $14 trillion industry.”