Siemens to buy rail software company Sqills in 550 million euro deal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of German industrial group Siemens is seen in Zurich, Switzerland, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Siemens is buying rail software company Sqills, the German engineering and technology company said on Thursday, its latest acquisition to expand into high growth markets outside its core activities.

The trains-to-industrial software maker will pay an initial 550 million euros ($651.09 million) for Sqills, a software as a service provider, whose cloud-based products include inventory management, reservation and ticketing software.

Sqills has forecast revenues of around 40 million euros in 2022 and provides services to 33 operators, with customers including France's state-owned railway company SNCF, channel tunnel operator Eurostar and Irish Rail.

The Netherlands-based company has developed a platform that enables rail and bus operators to replace their old reservation systems with an online booking system that increases the utilization and availability of passenger transportation, Siemens said.

The acquisition fits with Siemens's strategy to accelerate its revenue growth by providing more products and services which combine the real and digital worlds.

At its investor day in June Siemens said it wanted to enter additional markets that generate annual revenues of 120 billion euros through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

The $700 million acquisition of electronic component seller Supplyframe in May is one example of the strategy unveiled by recently appointed Chief Executive Roland Busch.

"The acquisition of Sqills is a perfect example of how Siemens combines the real and digital worlds to empower its customers in their transformation," said Busch in a statement.

"At the same time, Sqills supports our own growth path for digital services and is a great example of applying our capital allocation criteria through targeted acquisitions."

($1 = 0.8447 euro)

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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