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Schneider Electric buys Telvent smart-grid software

The $2 billion deal is a sign of consolidation among infrastructure equipment suppliers and the growing importance of software in the grid and transportation.

Power grid and building equipment supplier Schneider Electric said today has agreed to acquire Telvent in a bid to boost its smart-grid software portfolio.

France-based Schneider Electric said it will pay about $2 billion for shares of Spain-based Telvent, which makes software designed to run the electric grid more efficiently. Telvent's products, for example, collect information from meters or sensors and presents it to utility employees so power grid systems can be better managed. It also makes real-time analytical software for agriculture, oil and gas, and transportation companies.

The deal is a sign of how large suppliers of industrial equipment and smart-grid systems are acquiring smaller companies to fill out their product lines. Software, in particular, is important to energy efficiency offerings.

"To improve efficiency of solutions you need more software. Think about smart grids, smart transport, it all requires more software," Unicredit analyst James Stettler told Reuters.

Schneider said Telvent's software complements its existing infrastructure products and gives Schneider a reach into new countries. "We will be able to provide our customers with high value added solutions that integrate smart devices and full software capability, hence reinforcing our position in the smart grid and critical infrastructure space," said Schneider Electric president and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said in a statement.