With billion dollar acquisition, Bentley doubles down on Digital Twins

Tom Paine

Exton-based Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) announced Thursday afternoon it was acquiring Christchurch, New Zealand-based Seequent from PE firm Accel-KKR for just over $1 billion dollars. Bentley describes Seequent as “a leader in software for geological and geophysical modeling”.

Bentley will pay $900 million in cash, the rest in company stock.

Tom Barnds, co-managing partner at Accel-KKR and Seequent board member, said, “We had been looking forward to Seequent’s IPO this year, but we are so convinced of the logic of this combination that we are glad to anticipate instead becoming BSY shareholders.”

Bentley’s current offerings enable digital twins to incorporate what’s constructed “near surface”, the company says. But Seequent’s software will enable Bentley to see deeper.

Bentley expects Seequent to be accretive to its key metrics, and boost its organic growth rate. Presumably, it will also grow Bentley’s total addressable market (TAM).

Bentley also says Seequent can benefit from Bentley’s existing presence in China.

Since its September IPO, Bentley’s share price looks as if investors are expecting an increased organic growth rate from the current single-digit level.

After closing, Bentley says Seequent will operate as a stand-alone Bentley subsidiary, with Seequent’s current Chief Operating Officer Graham Grant, succeeding its retiring CEO Shaun Maloney, reporting to Bentley’s Chief Product Officer Nicholas Cumins.

Bentley CFO David Hollister said he expects Seequent “to contribute in excess of $80 million to our ARR during this year”. I’m not quite sure what that exactly means (calendar year, or months after expected 2nd quarter close), but I guess I’ll find out in Bentley’s investor call 8:30 AM tomorrow morning.