ACONEX SHARES SURGE ON $1.6 BILLION TAKEOVER BY US GIANT ORACLE

ACONEX SHARES SURGE ON $1.6 BILLION TAKEOVER BY US GIANT ORACLE

SHARES in software provider Aconex (ASX: ACX) have surged following the news that US tech giant, Oracle, is buying the ASX-listed company.

Construction software provider Aconex will be acquired by Oracle in an all-cash $1.6 billion deal as it expands further into the cloud computing market.

Shares in Aconex surged nearly 45 per cent on the news of the acquisition and were trading at $7.63 by 12:30pm AEDT.

The New York-listed Oracle will acquire all shares in the Melbourne-based Aconex at $7.80 each, or a 47 per cent premium.

Under the deal, Aconex will jointly provide an end-to-end solution for project management and delivery for construction projects.

Aconex chief executive Leigh Jasper says the deal is a perfect fit for both companies.

"The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people and geography," says Jasper.

Oracle's general manager for global construction and engineering business unit Mike Scilia says the addition of Aconex would take the global giant closer to its vision of offering the most comprehensive cloud-based project management solution for the construction industry.

Aconex, founded in 2000 by Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, was listed in December 2014 and has grown to 47 offices across 23 countries.

The group provides cloud-based and mobile collaboration software for the construction industry.

Over the past year, Aconex saw its shares plunge nearly 50 per cent in January after a profit warning that followed several acquisitions which has led to the company's stocks being among the most shorted on the ASX.

The board of Aconex has unanimously recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the Oracle offer.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, but is dependent on Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

Shares in Aconex are up by 44.23 per cent to $7.63 per share at 2pm AEDT.

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