Roper Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ROP) is buying cloud-based construction data network ConstructConnect for $632 million. The purchase comes as dealmakers are optimistic that construction-related spending is expected to increase leading into 2017.
ConstructConnect is a networking community for the construction industry that brings together manufacturers, general contractors and subcontractors, project owners, architects and engineers. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based target facilitates the pre-construction process by compiling a list of projects needed to fulfill the work lifecycle, helping project owners identify service providers. Project owners are able to request proposals while contractors can submit pitches to potentially find and win more work. ConstructConnect has generated more than $55 million bid invitations across more than 400,000 construction projects in the last 12 months. Roper Tech expects the target to generate approximately $150 million in revenue in 2017.
Roper Tech is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida-based technology company that designs, develops, and licenses software for companies across a variety of industries including: healthcare, transportation, food and beverage, education, and energy. Roper Tech operates through four businesses segments: industrial technology, medical and scientific imaging, energy systems and controls, and radio frequency technology and software. The buyer’s radio frequency technology and software companies consist of: iTradeNetwork Inc., a trading and business intelligence network to the food industry; DAT Solutions, a market freight matching network for brokers, carriers, owner-operators and shippers; Aderant, a business management software company for law firms; and more.
The uptick in new residential construction is driving M&A in the construction sector. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of building permits for privately-owned housing units rose to 1,225,000 in September from 1,152,000 in August. This is an 8.5 percent increase from the 1,129,000 building permits reported in Sept. 2015. Roper Tech isn't the only dealmaker targeting construction-related software companies. In 2016, Thoma Bravo-backed Deltek agreed to buy software firm Union Square to help build out the buyer’s services for its construction and engineering clients.
Other construction deals include: United Subcontractors Inc.’s purchase of insulation contractor Southern Foam and Coating; Meridian General Capital’s buying of PowderCoat Services Inc., which provides coating services to construction, automotive, consumer and electronics sectors; and ABC Supply Co.’s agreement to acquire L&W Supply — distributor of drywall, ceiling tiles and steel framing materials to building contractors — from USG Corp. (NYSE: USG).