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Rockwell Automation Rises on $2.2 Billion Deal for Plex Systems

Rockwell Automation agreed to buy Plex Systems, a manufacturing-software platform, for $2.2 billion from the private-equity firm Francisco Partners.
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Rockwell Automation  (ROK)  agreed to purchase Plex Systems, a manufacturing-software platform, for $2.22 billion cash from the San Francisco private-equity firm Francisco Partners.

Solutions at Plex, Troy, Mich., enable manufacturers to operate more efficiently by leveraging shop-floor data to improve production, the companies said.

Plex’s applications include manufacturing execution, supply-chain visibility and quality management, the companies said. Plex employs about 500.

Rockwell is the Milwaukee industrial-automation specialist. Shares of the company at last check were 1% higher at $288.48. The stock touched a 52-week high $289.52 on Wednesday.

Rockwell Automation said it would finance the purchase with cash and short-term and long-term debt. 

The companies expect to close the deal in in Rockwell's fiscal fourth quarter, subject to conditions including regulatory clearance.

In October last year, Rockwell said it acquired Oylo, a closely held industrial cybersecurity services provider based in Barcelona, Spain. Terms weren't disclosed.

Last year, the company also expanded a partnership with Microsoft  (MSFT)

The cloud-based solutions will enable "development teams to digitally prototype, configure and collaborate without investing in costly physical equipment," the companies said.