US software giant Oracle is buying Melbourne-based Aconex, which provides cloud-based software for construction projects, in a deal worth $1.6 billion.

Oracle is offering to buy 100 per cent of the shares in Aconex by way of a scheme of arrangement for A$7.80 in cash per share.

The price represents a 47 per cent premium on the Aconex closing price of A$5.29 on 15 December 2017 and a 4 times return on the Aconex December 2014 IPO price of A$1.90 per share.

A successful takeover will see Oracle and Aconex provide an end-to-end offering for project management and delivery of construction projects.

“The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people and geography,” said Leigh Jasper, co-founder and CEO, Aconex.

“As co-founders of Aconex, both Rob Phillpot and I remain committed to the business and are excited about the opportunity to advance our collective vision on a larger scale, and the benefits this combination will deliver to our customers.”

The Aconex board plans to vote for the deal and unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, subject to the independent expert’s report concluding that the scheme is in the best interests of Aconex shareholders and there being no superior proposal.

Aconex shareholders will be given the opportunity to vote on the scheme in late March 2018.

For Oracle, the acquisition will enhance their cloud offering in the construction market.

“Delivering projects on time and on budget are the highest strategic imperatives for any engineering and construction organisation. With the addition of Aconex, we significantly advance our vision of offering the most comprehensive cloud-based project management solution for this $14 trillion industry,” said Mike Scilia Oracle SVP and GM, Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit.

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