ABB buys minority stake in Swedish software company

US$ 10 million investment enlarges Industrial IT potential

Zurich, Switzerland, August 3, 2001 – ABB, the global technology company, today announced that it has acquired a minority interest in the Swedish software maker, Industrial & Financial Systems AB (IFS).

ABB has acquired 3.7% percent of IFS, which represents 1.8 % of the voting rights, through a direct share issue valued at roughly US$ 10 million. The investment by ABB New Ventures strengthens an existing technical and commercial alliance between ABB and IFS.

“This partnership completes another important link in our Industrial IT strategy,” says Jouko Karvinen, executive vice president and head of ABB’s automation technology products division.

“It offers our process and utility customers a comprehensive, real-time solution across the business value chain. The similarities in software design between ABB and IFS promise both a smooth integration of each of our technologies, and a more powerful end product – which is the seamless integration of plant systems with a full suite of business applications.”

For more than a year, IFS has been developing ways to integrate its business software, called IFS Applications, with ABB’s Industrial IT platform.
ABB signed an agreement with IFS in January, 2001, to resell IFS Applications components. The two companies have since explored other business collaborations. For instance, by licensing key Industrial IT components from ABB and inserting them into the IFS Applications package, IFS can decrease its development costs.

In the long term, cross licensing of systems components between the companies is expected to decrease research and development costs for both partners. It is a milestone partnership, with ABB licensing Industrial IT as an enabling component of third-party software applications, and IFS strengthening integration of its business systems within a real-time platform.

“ABB will add channels and viability to IFS in the asset intensive process and utilities industries,” says Bengt Nilsson, CEO of IFS. “We are creating a complete, collaborative backbone that will handle the whole spectrum of automation and information, from boardroom to shopfloor.”

IFS Applications will be “Industrial IT Enabled” by ABB under certification standards which ensure connectivity with systems from ABB and licensed third parties. An integrated ABB/IFS solution is currently in use at the Visy Paper Mill in Australia, and is being piloted at SCA’s Otviken paper mill in Sweden.

ABB (www.abb.com) serves manufacturing, process and consumer industries, utilities, and the oil and gas markets, with 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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