Aspen Technology (AZPN) And Emerson (EMR) Announce $11 Billion Deal

By Amit Chowdhry ● Oct 11, 2021
  • Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and AspenTech (NASDAQ: AZPN) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to contribute Emerson’s industrial software businesses as part of an $11 billion deal. These are the details.

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and AspenTech (NASDAQ: AZPN) today announced that they 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 high-performance industrial software leader with greater scale, capabilities, and technologies (new AspenTech). And Emerson will also contribute $6 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.

The deal 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. And 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. The majority ownership position in a pure-play industrial software leader will give Emerson the platform and flexibility to strategically deploy capital for growth through continued investment and M&A. And the deal 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.

Following the completion of the transaction, the new AspenTech will have a global footprint with strong go-to-market capabilities and over 3,700 employees. And 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. And New AspenTech will have high growth and 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.

These are several benefits of the transaction:

1.) 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. And 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.
2.) With the additional capabilities of OSI 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 the adoption of new AspenTech’s solutions. And the addition of OSI 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.

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

4.) Over time, new AspenTech is expected to drive significant revenue and synergy opportunities by transitioning OSI and the Geological Simulation Software business to a token and subscription-based business model – which AspenTech has successfully achieved for its existing portfolio. And the token model enables customers to access a broader suite of software modules. The deal 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.

5.) 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. And the 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 the new AspenTech, driving $45 million of EBITDA synergies.

6.) 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. And on a pro forma basis, the company is expected to deliver double-digit revenue and free cash flow growth over the next 5 years. Over time, as new AspenTech delivers on its synergy opportunities and completes the business model transitions of the OSI 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.

7.) 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. And 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. Through 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 Deal

Under the terms of the deal, 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. And 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 the 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 had concluded that Emerson is the ideal strategic partner for AspenTech and that this transaction structure provides the best opportunity to drive continued growth. And 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 is going to be headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts and Antonio Pietri, the current CEO of AspenTech, will be the CEO. And following the close of the transaction, the Board of Directors of new AspenTech will consist of 9 directors, 5 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 deal 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.

Emerson’s 2021 Fiscal Year Performance Outlook
On August 4, 2021, Emerson provided fiscal year 2021 underlying sales guidance of 5% to 6% and adjusted EPS guidance of $4.06 to $4.08. And Emerson is reaffirming this guidance and will provide complete results on November 3, 2021.

AspenTech Provides Preliminary Update on First Quarter Fiscal 2022 Results
AspenTech is expecting annual spend to be approximately $629 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which represents an increase of 5.5% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

KEY QUOTES:

”We saw an attractive opportunity to accelerate our software strategy to capitalize on the rapidly evolving industrial software landscape and advance Emerson’s high-value portfolio journey. Our customers are increasingly seeking partners to help realize stronger performance as they automate workflows in their facilities to optimize operations. New AspenTech will become an engine for both acquisition and organic growth.”

— Lal Karsanbhai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Emerson

“Today’s announcement marks an exciting new era. This transaction enables us to advance our position as a premier, highly diversified industrial software leader poised for significant growth, strong financial performance and a vehicle to drive future software acquisitions, while providing immediate cash value to AspenTech shareholders. The new AspenTech will benefit from a larger and more diversified market, which we will be able to serve with a comprehensive software portfolio, an expanded global sales channel and an even stronger balance sheet reinforced by Emerson. Additionally, this transaction expands our ability to support customers’ global sustainability ambitions.”

— Antonio Pietri, President and Chief Executive Officer of AspenTech, who will lead new AspenTech