Acquisition is expected to deepen the potential of infrastructure digital twins
Bentley Systems has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with investors led by Accel-KKR to acquire Seequent. The firm is said to specialise in software for geological and geophysical modeling, geotechnical stability and cloud services for geodata management, visibility, and collaboration. The deal is said to be for $900m in cash, subject to adjustment, plus 3,141,361 BSY Class B shares.
The acquisition is expected to deepen the potential of infrastructure digital twins to help understand and mitigate environmental risks, advancing resilience and sustainability, Bentley said in its statement.
The firm noted that the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the New Zealand Overseas Investment Act consent, as well as clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Upon closing, Seequent will operate as a stand-alone Bentley subsidiary, with Seequent’s current COO Graham Grant, succeeding its retiring CEO Shaun Maloney, reporting to Bentley’s Chief Product Officer Nicholas Cumins.
Seequent was founded and is headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand and has more than 430 colleagues in 16 office locations, serving geologists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, geotechnical engineers, and civil engineers in over 100 countries, and the world’s top mining companies, Bentley stated.
Its presence in mineral-intensive geographies such as South America and southern Africa is expected to accelerate Bentley’s overall opportunities in these regions with significant infrastructure requirements. In turn, Bentley’s established presence in China, and its mainstay reach across civil engineering sectors, is expected to accelerate Seequent’s expansion in new markets, the statement explained.
Bentley’s CEO Greg Bentley explained, “We can be very confident about Seequent’s contribution to our shared future not only because of our product synergies but because we recognise in Seequent’s trajectory an echo of the playbook that made Bentley Systems successful—except they have grown faster! They have made farsighted decisions to benefit the future at every stage: identifying and then laser-focusing on the 3D ‘vertical’ opportunity in earth modeling, institutionalising a subscription commercial model from the outset, directly populating the appropriate global markets, acquiring and consolidating the best software for adjacent disciplines, and bringing it all together with cloud services, ready for digital twins advancement together.”
He added, “I can think of no greater compliment than our determination to leave intact Seequent, as a Bentley Company, entrusting its management with greater responsibilities to continue their dynamic momentum. I congratulate retiring CEO Shaun Maloney on the quality of the business and the team he has developed, and we will warmly welcome his established successor Graham Grant, and all Seequent colleagues, to our shared values and endeavors in advancing infrastructure.”
According to Bentley, subsurface conditions comprise the ‘infrastructure of our infrastructure’ and underlie the earth’s major environmental risks. The firm says its current offerings enable digital twins to incorporate what’s constructed ‘near surface’, including foundations, drainage facilities, buried utilities, tunnels, and subsea structures. The addition of Seequent will make it possible for infrastructure digital twins to reach full subsurface depths, augmenting environmental resilience against flood, seismic, climate, and water security threats.
The integration of Bentley’s and Seequent’s solutions can contribute a multiplied “ESG handprint” to improve the world’s environment while improving the world’s economies. While Seequent’s products aren’t appreciably used in oil and gas exploration or production, imperatives for energy transition present new opportunities, even beyond the expansion of mining to produce the materials needed for widespread electrification. Seequent is a leader in 3D modeling for geothermal energy sources, and its software and cloud services provide the important geosciences context for water resources simulations and environmental engineering, the statement explained.
Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent added, “By ‘leapfrogging ahead’ with Bentley to align geosciences with infrastructure engineering through deeper digital twins, Seequent underscores our conviction that better understanding of the earth creates a better world for all. Users and accounts of Seequent, as a Bentley Company, can expect business as usual, with many product and commercial synergies eventually forthcoming. For my Seequent colleagues, I am confident that the future is in safe hands with like-minded Bentley Systems and our COO Graham Grant, so this presents a timely moment for me to announce my planned retirement. For all, our new larger scope presents a great opportunity for shared advancement.”