Schneider Electric weighs sale of DTN for around $1 bn

French power-equipment maker Schneider Electric SE is mulling selling DTN to a European financial investor in a deal that value the agriculture news and data-software provider at around $1 billion.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that the identity of the buyer could not be immediately ascertained, but the deal, depending on final negotiations, could be announced in the next couple of days .

The sale price of around $1 billion would allow Schneider to recover most of what it paid to acquire Spanish software developer for smart electricity grids, Telvent GIT, SA. (See: Schneider Electric launches $2 billion bid for Spain's software firm Telvent)

Schneider had acquired DTN as part of its purchase of Telvent, but in October last year, the Paris-based company announced a strategic review of the business, and decided against trying to build a subscription-based business as a new source of revenue.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, DTN owns the monthly agricultural periodical Progressive Farmer magazine. The magazine was founded in Winston, North Carolina, in 1886 by Leonidas Lafayette Polk with the aim of providing the latest information on crop and livestock production.

DTN provides real-time market, news and weather information services for agricultural and energy markets.

It provides on-demand market information, commodity cash prices, industry news and in-depth analysis, and location-specific weather to more than 600,000 subscribers across related commodity markets every day through mobile devices, Internet, satellite, and print.

Based in the western suburbs of Paris, Schneider Electric was founded in 1836 by two brothers, Eugène and Adolphe Schneider who began by manufacturing electric motors and locomotives.

Today, it has become a global leader in power and control solutions mainly through the over 18 strategic acquisitions it has made since the past 135 years.

The company is a specialist in integrated solutions across multiple market segments that include energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres / networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications.