Oracle seeks ASX-listed construction software group Aconex

Oracle seeks ASX-listed construction software group Aconex
Oracle seeks ASX-listed construction software group Aconex

Oracle, the US technology giant has announced it will buy the ASX-listed construction software group Aconex in a $1.6 billion deal. 

The deal, to be done under a scheme of arrangement, will see Oracle offer $7.80 a share.

The company was founded by Australians Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot has been described as one of the most-shorted stocks on the ASX. 

Phillpot and Jasper will get about $88 million and $92 million respectively from the deal.

"The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people and geography," Jasper said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

The offer represents a 47 per cent premium to Aconex's last close price. Its shares hit a peak of $8.28 mid last year.

The Aconex chairman Adam Lewis said the price offered by Oracle was strong. 

Credit Suisse is acting as financial adviser to Aconex and Herbert Smith Freehills is acting as legal adviser. 

Mr Jasper, who is also the chief executive of the company, will remain with the business under Oracle's ownership. 

Aconex is a Melbourne-based company founded in 2000. Aconex’s Australian operations achieved profitability six years later.

It was in 1998 when the idea arose for the old school friends Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot who played weekly squash games.

Phillpot was a project manager at Multiplex Constructions and Jasper, who had studied engineering and science at Melbourne, was working at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

The Australian Financial Review noted the pair raised $2.8 million in 2000, mainly from QA Software, Probuild, and a number of private investors.

Their collaborative project management platform has been used on some of the biggest construction sites around the world, including the Panama Canal extension.

Clients include Brookfield Multiplex and Grocon.

It has 47 offices serving customers in more than 70 countries.

The shares started trading in 2014 at $2, up five percent on the final offer price of $1.90.

The scheme booklet is expected to be sent to Aconex shareholders in late February 2018 with an approval meeting in late March. 

Construction Software

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