ABB to acquire software firm Ventyx for over $1 billion

Joseph Hogan, Official portrait of Joseph Hogan, CEO, ABB LtdGlobal engineering giant ABB Ltd, yesterday said that it will acquire Ventyx, a software provider for grid operators from Vista Equity Partners for more than $1 billion in cash.

Ventyx, based in Atlanta, Georgia, employing 900 people and reported 2009 revenues of about $250 million, is a leading software provider to global energy, utility, communications, and other asset-intensive businesses.

Ventyx has a large installed base in the US market and Europe and operates in more than 40 countries. Its customers include leading power utilities in the US and Europe as well as industrial businesses.

Ventyx's load forecasting software helps to integrate large amounts of unpredictable renewable energies, such as wind and solar power. The company provides other asset management applications to fully integrate a utility's business and enterprise systems across the entire value chain, and a comprehensive service suite to facilitate efficient resolution of network failures.

Armed with a $7.1-billion in cash, this will be the first major acquisition in a decade by Zurich-based ABB, which had acquired the Netherlands-based Elsag Bailey Process Automation in 1998 for $2.1 billion.

ABB, which had 2009 revenues of nearly $32 billion and listed on the Zurich, New York and Stockholm exchanges, said that it will combine its related network management business within the Power Systems division, with Ventyx to form a single unit for energy management software solutions.