PTC Pushes Into Connected Factories With Kepware Acquisition

New England software company PTC continued its shift into providing backbone technology for the “Internet of Things” with a $100 million-plus acquisition of Kepware.

The deal announced today gives Needham, MA-based PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) a foothold in factories worldwide. Kepware, a 20-year-old company based in Portland, ME, develops software that helps connect devices used in industrial automation. It has customers in more than 120 countries in sectors like manufacturing, oil and gas, building automation, and utilities, according to a press release.

PTC has traditionally focused on developing 2-D and 3-D product design software and services to manage those products, but the company has lately been emphasizing its role in the development of Internet of Things products and services. Other recent efforts in this transformation include the $65 million acquisition in October of Vuforia, Qualcomm’s vision-based augmented reality technology. PTC has said it intends to use Vuforia’s technology to help design, monitor, and control products.

With Kepware, PTC grabs software that “connects disparate devices and control systems, providing users with a single source of industrial data,” the press release said. PTC intends to analyze that data and help customers boost their operational performance.

PTC is paying approximately $100 million for Kepware up front, with an additional $18 million on the table if certain “strategic initiatives and financial results” are achieved. Kepware generated $20 million in revenue over the past 12 months, PTC said. PTC posted a $62.1 million profit on $1.25 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015.

PTC is borrowing to finance the transaction, which is expected to close in early 2016.

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