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Today in Cleantech

Big news on the smart grid acquisition front this morning from everyone’s favorite smart grid acquirer. French power gear giant Schneider Electric has announced a $1.36 billion offer for Telvent, the energy software and IT firm that’s one of the bigger players in smart grid deployments in Europe. The deal won’t come cheap for Schneider, which is offering $40 a share for Telvent, a 36-percent premium on its average share price over the past three months. Telvent, which is partially owned by Spanish energy giant Abengoa, could offer Schneider a major foothold in the IT side of the smart grid, where Schneider now primarily plays as a supplier of low and medium-voltage equipment and as a system integrator. That could give Schneider a competitive stance against rival ABB, which bought smart grid software vendor Ventyx last year. Of course, Schneider has been the most aggressive buyer in the smart grid space, with nearly a dozen deals announced over the past 12 months, including a $268 million purchase of energy procurement specialist Summit Energy, deals to buy data center equipment provider Lee Technologies and Indian cable provider Digilink. Schneider’s offer for Telvent would be one of its largest deals yet, though not the largest it has floated. In April, rumors surfaced that it would bid as much as $30 billion for conglomerate Tyco International, but after shareholders drove down Schneider’s shares, the company reassured investors it would seek smaller buys.