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Rockwell Automation acquires Plex Systems for $2.2 billion in cash

Tue 29 Jun 2021

Rockwell Automation has announced its intention to acquire cloud-native manufacturing platform Plex Systems for $2.22 billion in cash.

The industrial automation company entered into the agreement with Plex this week, with the purchase to be financed with a combination of cash and short-term and long-term debt. 

The acquisition will bring Plex’s 700+ customers under Rockwell’s umbrella and will supplement Rockwell’s portfolio with Plex’s multi-tenant SaaS manufacturing platform. This includes its manufacturing execution systems and its quality and supply chain management capabilities. 

Rockwell Automation chairman and CEO Blake Moret says, “This acquisition will accelerate our strategy to bring the Connected Enterprise to life, driving faster time to value for our customers as they increasingly adopt cloud solutions to improve resilience, agility, and sustainability in their operations.

“Combining Plex’s cutting-edge cloud technology with Rockwell’s existing software portfolio and domain expertise will add customer value and create more ways to win,” he says. 

“The acquisition will also accelerate our software revenue growth and strengthen our annual recurring revenue streams.”

Rockwell’s global market access will differentiate Plex’s software capabilities, complementary industry expertise, and ability to turn real-time data into actionable insights, the company says.

Rockwell senior vice president for software and control Brian Shepherd says companies worldwide are looking to improve their production systems — and this can be done with cloud-based manufacturing execution systems. Plex’s platform, he says, achieves this — and helps customers automate and analyse their operations and connected supply chains.

“Rockwell believes in the power of data and technology to transform manufacturing and industrial operations,” says Shepherd.

“Together with the advanced asset maintenance and management capabilities provided by our recent Fiix acquisition, Rockwell will have a strong portfolio of cloud-native solutions for our customers’ production systems upon completion of the Plex acquisition.”

Plex CEO Bill Berutti says he is excited about the future. “Plex has always been more than a company,” says Berutti. “We have been a leader in the movement to smart manufacturing and a trusted partner to more than 700 manufacturing companies around the globe. 

“Joining forces with Rockwell is great for our customers, our partners, and our employees as we move to expand our reach and impact and accelerate our mission to bring manufacturing to the cloud.”

As a part of the acquisition, Rockwell will welcome more than 500 highly engaged new employees. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in Rockwell’s fiscal fourth quarter.

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