Linklaters and Ashurst lead on £3bn Anglo-French software merger

Linklaters and Ashurst are advising as UK software company Aveva prepares to merge with the software arm of French technology company Schneider Electric.

The enlarged business will be valued at £3bn, based on current market value.

Ashurst is acting for Cambridge-based Aveva. Its London-based team is being led by corporate partners Karen Davies and James Fletcher, and senior consultant Jeffrey Sultoon, with partner Neil Cuninghame providing competition advice.

Linklaters is acting for Schneider. It is understood the firm is fielding a team including City corporate partner Aisling Zarraga and London capital markets partner Richard Good.

This is Schneider’s third attempt to merge with Aveva in three years. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Ashurst and Linklaters were first called up to advise the pair in 2015 but this first attempt at a merger collapsed. The firms were instructed again in June 2016, when Schneider made a fresh approach, but those talks fell through after two days.

The Linklaters team that initially advised Schneider in 2015 and 2016 consisted of London corporate partners Nick Rumsby, Nick Rees and Richard Good, and Paris corporate partner Fabrice de La Morandiere.

Ashurst has kept on the same lead partners, with the addition of Fletcher who was made up to partner in May 2017. He previously acted on the 2016 merger attempt as an associate.

In 2013, Linklaters acted for Schneider on its £3.4bn takeover of UK engineering company Invensys. De la Morendiere, Rees and Rumsby were the key Linklaters partners on that deal.