Itron spends $830m on Silver Spring to accelerate smart grid and smart city innovation and growth

Itron, Inc and Silver Spring Networks, Inc. have signed a definitive agreement for Itron to acquire all outstanding shares of Silver Spring for $16.25 (€13.55) per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $830 million (€692.16 million), net of $118 million (€98.40 million) of Silver Spring’s cash.

This represents a premium of 25% to Silver Spring’s closing share price on Sept. 15, 2017, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the transaction. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Silver Spring provides Internet of Important Things™ connectivity platforms and solutions to utilities and cities. In 2016, Silver Spring generated revenues of $311 million (€259.35 million) with a gross margin of 44% and ended the year with $1.2 billion of backlog.

With its global footprint in the smart utility and smart city sectors, Silver Spring generated more than 20% of its revenues through its primarily recurring managed services and SaaS solutions, an area of strategic focus for Itron. To date, Silver Spring has delivered more than 26.7 million network-enabled devices across five continents.

Itron anticipates approximately $50 million (€41.70 million) in annualised cost synergies to be substantially realised within three years of completing the transaction by optimising combined operations and expenses.

The acquisition is expected to have a positive impact on Itron’s long-term growth rate, be accretive to gross margin in the first year after completing the transaction and be accretive to non-GAAP EPS and adjusted EBITDA in the second year, excluding one-time, transaction-related costs and including stock-based compensation costs that Silver Spring currently excludes from its reported non-GAAP results.

“The addition of Silver Spring brings more capabilities to our offerings and advances our strategy of delivering highly secure, value-generating solutions for the critical infrastructure within utilities, smart cities and the broader industrial IoT sector,” said Philip Mezey, Itron’s president and chief executive officer.

Philip Mezey

“By converging our complementary, standards-based technologies, we will enhance customer efficiencies with solutions that optimise devices, network technologies, outcomes and analytics. This enables us to increase investment in new solutions and accelerate innovation for our combined customer base, covering more than 200 million people.

“This transaction also increases our presence in the sizable industrial IoT segment, driving higher growth with recurring revenues and enabling Itron to increase profitability beyond our mid-teens EBITDA margin target,” continued Mezey.

“Combining Silver Spring’s entrepreneurial culture and proven capabilities with Itron’s operational strengths, depth of solutions and customer intimacy will result in a company that is well-positioned in the fast growing critical infrastructure space.”

“We look forward to welcoming Silver Spring’s talented team of engineers and professionals to Itron and are confident that together, we are best equipped to provide industry-leading solutions that will deliver greater value to our customers.”

Mike Bell, president and chief executive officer of Silver Spring Networks, said, “Joining forces with Itron will enable us to help more utilities and cities adopt the industrial Internet, improve their performance and reliability, and better position themselves for a connected future.

This strong combination will address end-to-end solutions for our customers and will create immediate value for our stockholders; it will also provide new opportunities for our employees as part of a larger, global technology leader for the Internet of Important Things.”

‘Compelling strategic and financial benefits’ says Itron

    • More value for customers: Itron envisions it will converge the best of both companies’ complementary technologies to provide streamlined solutions on standards-based platforms, allowing the combined company to optimise industrial networks and deliver more solutions that increase value for customers.
    • Large partner ecosystem: Itron values an open platform approach to industry partners and is committed to supporting multi-vendor offerings for the smart utility and smart city sectors.
    • Enhances value-added services: With more than 90 million smart endpoints globally from the combined customer bases, Itron will be able to offer customers more outcome-based solutions, creating a large recurring revenue opportunity in the high-growth software and services segment.
    • Accelerates innovation: The combined company’s strong engineering talent, technology and deep data domain expertise will drive greater innovation and support for customers.
    • Significant synergies: Itron anticipates approximately $50 million(€41.70 million) of annualised cost synergies within three years of completing the transaction by optimising combined operating expenses. The transaction also will create additional revenue synergy potential.
    • Accretive transaction: The acquisition is expected to have a positive impact on Itron’s long-term growth rate, be accretive to gross margin in the first year and be accretive to non-GAAP EPS and adjusted EBITDA margin in year two, excluding one-time, transaction-related costs.
Mike Bell

Itron plans to finance the transaction using a combination of cash and approximately $750 million (€625.44 million) in incremental new debt. Fully committed financing has been provided by Wells Fargo.

The transaction is expected to close in late 2017 or early 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and the approval of Silver Spring’s stockholders.

Centreview Partners and Credit Suisse are acting as financial advisors to Itron, and Jones Day is acting as its legal advisor. Evercore is acting as financial advisor and Fenwick & West LLP as legal advisor to Silver Spring.

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