The rumors and speculation have been running rampant since process automation and software giant Invensys plc, London, UK, disclosed yesterday that it has received a preliminary offer of $5 billion from France's Schneider Electric. Invensys said it was disclosing the offer without Schneider's approval, which further fed speculation that the British company was hoping to ignite a bidding war. Schneider subsequently issued a brief statement confirming the bid. No other companies have come out and said they're interested, but Emerson Electric made an offer for the firm last year. Other companies widely assumed to be potential merger fits with Invensys include ABB, GE and Siemens. If Schneider decides, after due-dilligence, to go ahead with a firm offer, it must do so by Aug. 8.