AspenTech terminates Micromine deal


Richard Roberts

US$623m acquisition fails Russia hurdle

Australian mining software company Micromine is back in play following US-based Aspen Technology’s abrupt withdrawal from its US$623 million acquisition agreement.

The withdrawal, confirmed overnight, was said to be due to a failure to get Russian government approval for the deal. There was no clarity on when or if the final regulatory hurdle could be cleared, AspenTech CFO Chantelle Breithaupt told analysts on the company’s Q4 and FY23 financial results call.

AspenTech has also all but written off its own Russian business, focusing only on software licence renewals.

“We’re not going to be selling anything new into Russia going forward,” AspenTech CEO Antonio Pietri told analysts.

Privately-owned Micromine, established in Western Australia in 1986, built a substantial business in Russia after setting up shop there in 2001. It went on to open offices in all the country’s key mining regions.

Termination of the deal leaves Micromine majority owner, Sydney-based Potentia Capital, looking for new prospective buyers. It’s not known how many others were on its shortlist when AspenTech lobbed its high-priced offer.

The US software company says it “will not be paying any termination fee” on its exit.

It has meanwhile reiterated its belief that the mining and metals market is one it favours for increased exposure.

“Despite the decision to terminate the Micromine transaction the metals and mining industry remains an attractive market, particularly for our [digital grid management, manufacturing and supply chain, and asset performance management product] suites, and we remain committed to expanding our footprint in this industry through organic and inorganic investments,” Breithaupt said.

She said AspenTech retained the balance sheet and positive market stance to consider a large transaction or pursue bolt-ons.

“If we do not identify attractive and actionable M&A opportunities, we will pursue share repurchase authorisations as market and business conditions warrant,” she said.

 

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