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Local Tech Wire, AP

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB Ltd is acquiring Atlanta-based software firm for more than $1 billion.
says it will buy Ventyx from Vista Equity Partners in a bid to become a "key player" in energy management software and smart grids.

ABB, a multi-billion dollar global company focused on power and automation technologies, is one of the largest tenants at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.

The company also recently moved its North American headquarters to Cary from Connecticut. The firm has some 550 Triangle employees.

ABB (NYSE: ABB) is based in Switzerland.

It says Ventyx will become a single unit in its power systems division and provide energy management.

Ventyx offers so-called smart grid software for energy management as well as load forecasting software.

"The big advantage for energy companies, utilities and industrial customers is that they will now have a single supplier of enterprise-wide information technology platforms and power automation systems," said Joe Hogan, ABB’s CEO, in a statement. "The advantage for our shareholders is a cash-generating acquisition in an exciting growth market, with a strong management team, a highly complementary offering and geographic scope, and an attractive return on capital employed."

ABB says the acquisition will triple the market available to the company in energy management software.

A joint statement said Wednesday that Ventyx operates in more than 40 countries, with an emphasis on the United States and Europe. It employs 900 people and reported 2009 revenues of about $250 million.

ABB said it plans to pay cash for Ventyx, and the deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

"Combining Ventyx’s leading software suite with ABB’s systems and unparalleled domain knowledge of the power industry will create a business that is ideally placed to offer solutions that will help to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving energy networks," said Vince Burkett, CEO at Ventyx.