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11/01/2006

Autodesk completes acquisition of Alias

Autodesk has completed the acquisition of Alias for cash consideration of $197 million USD. On October 4 2005, Autodesk announced a definitive agreement to acquire Alias – a leading developer of 3D graphics technology. This acquisition extends Autodesk’s 3D software leadership in the manufacturing and media and entertainment industries.
“We’re excited to welcome Alias customers, partners and employees to Autodesk,” said Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk. “The acquisition of Alias is about fulfilling Autodesk’s vision: To give design and creative professionals the best software tools for realising their ideas. Customers are demanding the next generation of 3D photorealistic visualisation and animation tools, and we are poised to deliver. In the future, 3D assets will be created once and shared across a range of industries, from automotive and architectural design to films and games. This will be enabled by Autodesk technology.”
The combined company has more than seven million users. Alias’ automotive and design customers include BMW, Boeing, General Motors, Mattel, Honda, Renault and Rollerblade. Alias’ media and entertainment customers include major film studios and game developers, such as Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks SKG, Weta Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts, Midway Games, Nintendo and SEGA. Many of these customers use both Autodesk and Alias products, providing an opportunity for the combined company to deliver a more comprehensive suite of solutions.
Alias’ products, technology and services will be integrated with Autodesk’s Manufacturing Solutions and Media & Entertainment divisions and Autodesk’s Consulting organisation. Alias StudioTools – software for design tasks ranging from 2D sketches to production models – adds new design and visualisation capabilities to Autodesk’s manufacturing portfolio. The acquisition also grows Autodesk’s media and entertainment portfolio with Alias’ Maya software – an Academy Award-winning application, Alias MotionBuilder – 3D character animation software, and FBX – a widely used format for the exchange and use of 3D content.
Autodesk plans to continue the development and support of Alias products and services. The combined company’s research and development priority is to link Autodesk’s and Alias’ existing products, delivering increased interoperability and improved data management. In the manufacturing industry, this will give users an extended workflow into conceptual design, as part of Autodesk’s design-to-manufacturing solution. In the media and entertainment industry, many customers already use products from both Autodesk and Alias. As such, they will benefit from a streamlined workflow for digital film, broadcast and game projects.
Several Alias management team members have joined Autodesk, including Dave Wharry and Michel Besner. Dave Wharry, formerly Alias Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, is now Vice President of Sales for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division. Michel Besner, formerly Alias Vice President of Business Development – Emerging Markets, is now leading product management for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment Division 3D product portfolio. Alias’ former global headquarters in Toronto, Canada remains as a key development centre for Autodesk.
(GB)
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