Siemens Mobility said on Thursday it had signed a deal to acquire Sqills, a Netherlands-based rail software company, for $650 million (€550 million). The deal highlights an amplified interest in intercity rail worldwide as the impacts of climate change become more apparent and a new wave of technologies become available.
Sqills is a seller of cloud-based inventory management, reservation, and ticketing software for rail transport operators worldwide. Founded in 2002, it hasn’t raised outside investment.
For years, Siemens’ HaCon unit and Sqills have competed against other vendors, such as Amadeus, IBM, and SilverRail, to offer operational tools to railway companies. But Sqills enjoyed a streak of business wins in Europe before the pandemic struck. Today 33 operators, such as SNCF, Irish Rail, Rail Delivery Group, SJ, Via Rail, and Eurostar, use its services.
The company employs 160 people and forecasts its 2022 revenue of approximately $47 million (€40 million). That represented growth from the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when Sqills generated roughly $25 million in revenue.
“The acquisition of Sqills is a perfect example of how Siemens combines the real and digital worlds to empower its customers in their transformation,” said Roland Busch, president and CEO of Siemens AG, which announced the deal Thursday. “At the same time, Sqills supports our growth path for digital services and is a great example of applying our capital allocation criteria through targeted acquisitions.”
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