Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, a privately held developer of 3D graphics technology, for $182 million in cash. This acquisition will grow Autodesk’s expertise and offerings for the design of consumer products and automotive as well as in the media and entertainment markets. Autodesk anticipates that the transaction will close within the next four to six months.
“This acquisition brings to Autodesk a highly talented group of individuals, a wealth of technologies and a great set of products,” said Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk. “Alias’ technology spans several of our most important markets and augments the synergy between our design and media businesses. Our design customers are demanding more powerful visualization, animation and publishing capabilities. Our media and entertainment customers are increasingly using the data created by our design applications for broadcast, film and games projects. By combining the technology and talents of our two companies, we will be better able to continue delivering solutions that address our customers’ complex needs.”
Founded as Alias Research in 1983, Alias is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Alias customers are some of the world’s premier entertainment and manufacturing companies, including Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks SKG, Nintendo, General Motors and BMW. Alias revenues were $83 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005.
Alias’ product lines comprise sketching, animation, visual effects, design, modeling, rendering and reviewing solutions. Alias MotionBuilder is Alias’ 3D character animation product, Alias FBX is widely used in the exchange and use of 3D content, and Maya is the company’s Academy Award-winning 3D application. These products will augment Autodesk’s offering in the film and video and interactive games segments. Alias StudioTools – software for design tasks from 2D sketches to production models – will add industrial design and high-end visualization capabilities to Autodesk’s manufacturing solutions. Autodesk will continue to develop the Alias product lines in conjunction with Autodesk’s complementary products and technologies.
“This acquisition is designed to leverage the strengths of both companies,” stated Doug Walker, president and CEO of Alias. “Alias’ customers will benefit from nearly $300 million in R&D spending while having access to new and complementary products and technologies. Together, Autodesk and Alias will deliver products and services that give form to great ideas from the fantasy world of film to the factory floor.”
The acquisition is subject to a number of closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Targeted non-GAAP EPS for this transaction, which excludes in-process R&D expenses, acquisition-related restructuring costs, equity-based compensation expenses, and the reduction of deferred revenues assumed by Autodesk as required by US GAAP, is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in fiscal 2007. Autodesk is currently unable to provide estimates of the future impact of this transaction on GAAP earnings per share. Absent the impact of the acquisition, Autodesk has not changed any of its previously issued guidance.