ANSYS acquires SpaceClaim
John Hayes posted on May 01, 2014 |
Simulation company acquires Direct Modeling solution

Simulation giant ANSYS announced today that they will acquire direct modeling leader SpaceClaim in a deal valued at $85M.  This deal further blurs the lines between traditional CAD/PLM companies and those that focus on simulation.  

The major CAD/PLM vendors have for many years had some level of simulation solution as part of their offerings, most of which were purchased rather than developed internally.  At their best, these integrated simulation solutions work seamlessly with vendor's CAD data, allowing fast and accurate design iterations in the concept stage and then validation as the detail work progresses.  ANSYS has reversed this trend in that they are a simulation vendor buy a CAD company, which points to the ever increasing importance that simulation is gaining in the product development process.

The promise of ANSYS, as covered in this Virtual Systems Prototyping article in March, is that ANSYS has or plans to have all of the tools required to bring the intelligence gained from simulation to every stage of the product development cycle.  If they are able to use the easy geometry manipulation of SpaceClaim to make models ready for simulation more easily, then this will be a win for ANSYS users.

At the same time, the future has been less clear for SpaceClaim.  The company was the leader in direct modeling for many years.  CAD users found value in being able to work with geometry without the constraints imposed by full parameterization of their models.  Direct modeling became so popular that a few years later, all of the major CAD packages now have some level of direct modeling solutions offered with their CAD applications.  That left the prospects for SpaceClaim less clear, particularly when last year one of the founders of SpaceClaim, Blake Courter, left for venture backed GrabCAD.  

This acquisition should be a good deal for SpaceClaim users as it gives them a path forward into a solution set that is becoming very robust.  It also makes sense for ANSYS as they round out their product portfolio. 

Here is the full press release:

ANSYS (NASDAQ: ANSS), a global leader and innovator of engineering simulation software, announced today that it has acquired SpaceClaim Corporation, a leading provider of fast and intuitive 3-D modeling software for engineers, for a purchase price of $85 million in cash, plus retention and an adjustment for working capital. The transaction was closed on April 30, 2014. On a non-GAAP basis, the transaction is expected to be neutral to slightly accretive to ANSYS' non-GAAP earnings per share in 2014, and accretive in 2015 and beyond. 

Concord, Massachusetts-based SpaceClaim offers the first powerful and easy-to-use 3-D modeling tool that can be utilized by any engineer during the product development process. This process, called "direct modeling," differs dramatically from traditional CAD software, which is used by a relatively small percentage of engineers – typically late in the development process, to document the detailed design. SpaceClaim and ANSYS have partnered in the past to offer customers ANSYS®SpaceClaim Direct Modeler.

ANSYS' longtime vision is "Simulation Driven Product Development"™, in which organizations can derive tremendous value by harnessing computer simulation early in the design cycle to predict how a product will perform in the real world. With the addition of SpaceClaim, ANSYS will provide customers with a powerful and intuitive 3-D direct modeling solution to author new concepts and then leverage the power of simulation to rapidly iterate on these designs to drive innovation. The broad appeal of the SpaceClaim technology can help ANSYS deliver simulation tools to any engineer in any industry – at the earliest stages of the design cycle. ANSYS has always been an open platform and SpaceClaim's offerings are also CAD-neutral, allowing users to modify geometries regardless of the system in which they were created.

"This transaction is consistent with our strategic vision and M&A strategy, and accelerates our technological product roadmap to enhance our customer offering and drive growth," said Jim Cashman, president and CEO of ANSYS. "SpaceClaim is an exciting addition to our portfolio, as it addresses unmet 3-D modeling needs in the conceptual modeling, manufacturing and 3-D printing spaces, which represents an audience of 5 million users. In addition to driving innovation, the addition of SpaceClaim helps ANSYS accelerate the growth of the simulation market by broadening our user base from analysts and expert users to the millions of design and systems engineers in the industry. We welcome the SpaceClaim team to ANSYS."

"Leading companies know they need to modernize their engineering software and platforms if they want to develop truly innovative products," said Daniel Dean, senior vice president of research and development at SpaceClaim. "SpaceClaim's 3-D tools – combined with ANSYS' proven simulation software – are ideally suited to the rapid pace of today's business, driving a shorter product development process from concept to prototype."

Benefits of the Transaction:

  • Accelerates ANSYS' technological product roadmap and longtime vision for Simulation Driven Product Development:  SpaceClaim can help simplify and automate what has traditionally been a time-consuming process of preparing geometry for use in a simulation system, enhancing ease-of-use to help ANSYS accelerate product adoption and the growth of the simulation market overall. The transaction enables ANSYS to accomplish what would have taken the Company many years to develop alone, adding the talent pool, best-in-class design and expertise of a technology leader in 3-D modeling software.
  • Enhances customer offering through complementary technologiesThe transaction enables ANSYS to provide its customers with a powerful and intuitive 3-D direct modeling solution to author new concepts and then leverage the power of simulation to rapidly iterate on these designs to drive innovation. SpaceClaim's offerings are also CAD-neutral, allowing users to modify geometries regardless of the system they were created in.
  • Drives growth through an expanded customer base and cross-selling opportunities:  The broad appeal of SpaceClaim's technology can help ANSYS deliver simulation tools to any engineer in any industry – at the earliest stages of the design cycle – expanding ANSYS' user base from analysts and expert users to 5 million design and systems engineers.
  • Increases innovation: SpaceClaim's flagship product is SpaceClaim Engineer, the world's fastest and most innovative 3-D direct modeler. It offers best-in-class UI/UX design for both 3-D applications and mobile devices. SpaceClaim provides customers with 3-D direct modeling tools to rapidly iterate product designs and drive innovation.
  • Financial benefits:  ANSYS will be able to leverage its infrastructure and global footprint to accelerate the combined company's growth and profitability. On a non-GAAP basis, the transaction is expected to be neutral to slightly accretive to ANSYS' earnings per share in 2014 and accretive in 2015 and beyond. Additionally, SpaceClaim has net operating losses (NOLs), which ANSYS will be able to carry forward to reduce future tax payments.

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