Autodesk plans to put out US$182 million to buy up Alias, the maker of high-end software for rendering automobiles, movies, and so on. If you've seen print ads for the new Range Rover, those are all Alias renderings -- all of them; none are photographs of the actual SUV.
Many of the Alias softare packages will be added to Autodesk's line of movie and game creation software. StudioTools will give Autodesk's MCAD division sales into industrial design and high-end visualization.
Autodesk provides more info at autodeskandalias.
Alias has revenues of $83 million last year, making the purchase a 2.1x multiple. This is the second Canadian rendering firm Autodesk has bought, the earlier one known as Discreet (for awhile).
(A puzzler: Autodesk released the news publically through PrNewsWire at 4:51pm, and then held its conference calls for the media and investors a mere 39 minutes later. Talk about short notice!)
For the conference call for the media, Autodesk included the Alias CEO, the Autodesk mechancial division vp, and its media division vp.
Acquiring Alias is a way to further strengthen Autodesk's market size, especially into the movie, games, and automotive and consumer product markets.
Expect to see Discreet products bundled with Alias software.
Alias software is positioned along with Revit and Inventor as important to Autodesk.
Other comments made by conference participants:
"Four million companies rely on Autodesk software" -- based on having "more than six million users," that's just 1.5 software packages per company. Low penetration rate.
"Autodesk is the 8th largest publicly-traded software company in the world."