Autodesk Goes Deeper into Digital Manufacturing

Autodesk recently announced its intention to acquire Delcam, a public supplier of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and industrial measurement software for the manufacturing industry. Autodesk plans to acquire Delcam for £20.75 per share or approximately £172.5 million (revenues for Delcam’s fiscal 2012 were £47.1 million). The transaction, which will be structured as a cash offer for all the outstanding shares of Delcam, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in Autodesk's first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Headquartered in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Delcam's range of design, manufacturing, and inspection software provides automated solutions for a variety of industries, from aerospace to toys and sports equipment. The company has more than 30 offices worldwide and approximately 600 employees.

Autodesk has been actively acquiring design manufacturing software companies and product lines of late, as it contends with slow or negative growth in its traditional non-manufacturing verticals. The further one gets into the manufacturing process, the "stickier" its solutions will be (i.e., longer lasting and not easily replaced by those of its competitors), and add-ons to product lifecycle management (PLM)/CAD solutions are often less competitive and have less competitive discounts on licenses. Autodesk's manufacturing software sales rose a few percentiles year over year; it is now 26 percent of total revenue.

One of Autodesk's more interesting acquisitions was the March 2013 acquisition of Firehole Composites, a developer of design/analysis software for composite materials. The acquisition helps address the need for new simulation capabilities to predict and/or optimize the performance of more complex materials. Also in early 2013 Autodesk acquired PI-VR, a German developer of car design visualization software, whose offerings complement a range of Autodesk tools used in automotive design/engineering.
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