25 Jul 2024


Rockwell invests $1bn in PTC to form a strategic partnership

Rockwell Automation has entered a strategic partnership with the US software developer PTC, including a $1bn equity investment which gives Rockwell an 8.4% stake in PTC. The agreement is expected to accelerate growth for both companies who plan to target potential customers around the world wanting to transform their physical operations with digital technology.

The partnership will include technical collaborations between the organisations, as well as joint go-to-market initiatives around the world. In particular, PTC and Rockwell Automation have agreed to align their smart factory technologies and to combine PTC’s ThingWorx IoT, Kepware connectivity and Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platforms, with Rockwell’s FactoryTalk MES, FactoryTalk Analytics, and Industrial Automation platforms. They say that the result will be “an unmatched integrated information solution” that will enable customers to boost productivity, improve plant efficiency, reduce operational risks, and enhance system interoperability.

Rockwell Automation’s solutions business will be a preferred delivery and implementation provider, supported by a network of partners established globally by the two companies. The partners say they have complementary strengths across geographies, end-markets and applications.

“We believe this strategic partnership will enable us to accelerate growth by building on both companies’ records of innovation to extend the value of the Connected Enterprise and deepen our customer relationships,” says Blake Moret, Rockwell’s chairman and CEO, who will join PTC’s board of directors when the deal closes. “As IT and OT converge, there is a natural alignment between our companies. Together, we will offer the most comprehensive and flexible IoT offering in the industrial space.

“Our equity investment in PTC reflects our confidence in the partnership and the significant upside we expect it to create for both companies as we work together to profitably grow subscription revenue.”

Rockwell is making its $1bn investment in PTC by acquiring 10,582,010 newly issued shares at a price of $94.50 – representing a premium of 8.6% on PTC’s closing price on June 8. PTC plans to use the proceeds from Rockwell’s investment to repurchase stock to offset dilution.

“This strategic alliance will provide the industry with the broadest integrated suite of best-in-class technology, backed by PTC, the leader in IoT and augmented reality, and Rockwell Automation, the leader in industrial automation and information,” declares PTC’s president and CEO, Jim Heppelmann. “Our combined customer base will benefit from two world-class organisations that understand their business and deliver comprehensive, innovative, and integrated solutions.

“Leveraging Rockwell Automation’s industry-leading industrial control and software technology, strong brand, and domain expertise with PTC’s award-winning technology enables industrial enterprises to capitalise on the promise of the industrial IoT,” he adds. “I am incredibly excited about this partnership and the opportunity it provides to fuel our future success.”

PTC, founded in 1985, employs about 6,000 people in 30 countries. Last year, its revenues amounted to $1.16bn, with 43% of its income coming from the Americas, 37% from Europe and 20% from the Asia-Pacific region.

The transaction is expected to close within 60 days.

•  Rockwell Automation has also announced that its former CFO, Ted Crandall, who is currently senior vice-president of Control Products & Solutions (CP&S), one of the company’s two operating segments, is to retire near the end of 2018. He will be succeeded by Frank Kulaszewicz, currently senior vice-president of Architecture & Software (A&S), the company’s other operating segment.