Suez has completed a full integration of hydraulic network optimisation company Optimatics as part of an ambition to build out its network of digital solutions.
The French water giant has acquired the remaining share capital of the company for an undisclosed sum. This followed the acquisition of a minority stake alongside Emerald Technology Ventures in 2017.
Founded in Australia and based in the US, Optimatics’ software – Optimizer – is now being used by water and wastewater network managers in 50 installations.
These include: Australia (South Australia Water), the US (New York City DEP, Washington Suburban, Los Angeles, Denver Water, Minneapolis, Louisville MSD), France and the UK, including United Utilities and Thames Water.
Developed from genetic algorithm research at the University of Adelaide in Australia, the software combines the “performance of metaheuristic methods with those of hydraulic modelling tools”. According to Suez, it can “calculate thousands of scenarios in only a few hours”.
Jean-Yves Larrouturou, group senior executive VP - transformation said the acquisition “illustrates the acceleration of Suez’s digital transformation”.
Following the landmark purchase of GE Water & Process Technologies for $4.7 billion in September 2017, this is the first major purchase by Suez as part of a longer-term plan to expand its digital solutions portfolio, which sit under its “AQUADVANCED” portfolio.
It is also indicative of a trend for larger, global technology companies to increase their digital footprint and offering through acquisitions.
Another example is Xylem’s purchase of US smart water company Sensus and Singapore analytics company Visenti in 2016, followed by Canadian pipe diagnostics firm Pure Technologies in 2017.