Schneider is said to seek buyer for DTN

Schneider Electric has put DTN, a provider of data and news for the agricultural sector, up for sale, three sources said.

Schneider hired JP Morgan to advise on the auction, one source said. Nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, have gone out, this person said.

DTN, of Omaha, provides market coverage, weather and news for the agricultural sector. DTN publishes The Progressive Farmer, a 130-year old magazine that offers information on land prices, commodities-market strategies and managing risk.

In August, Schneider was considering selling DTN because it was considered a noncore operation, Bloomberg reported. Schneider talked to advisers and valued DTN at $1.5 billion, the story said.

The investment dates to 2008 when Telvent acquired DTN for $445 million. Schneider, a French power-equipment company, bought Telvent in 2011.

The DTN sale is expected to attract private equity firms, specifically those that are large software investors. Firms like KKR, Blackstone, Vista Equity Partners and Insight Venture Partners may be interested in DTN, bankers said. IHS, which acquired Markit last year, may also be involved.

In October, Drilling Info Holdings acquired GlobalView Software, a DTN rival. Drilling Info is backed by Insight Venture Partners. CCP Equity Partners was the seller of Global View.

“DTN is a good business for private equity if it’s growing,” one banker said.

KKR declined comment. Schneider, DTN, JP Morgan, Blackstone, Vista and Insight could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact DTN: +1 800-511-0095

Photo of farmer in soybean field courtesy ©iStock/fotokostic