Autodesk to buy Alias

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Friday, October 7, 2005

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California-based Autodesk Inc. announced yesterday that they plan to acquire Toronto-based Alias for $182 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to be completed within six months. “Alias’ technology spans several of our most important markets and augments the synergy between our design and media business,” said Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk.

Autodesk is the creator of one of the top computer aided design programs; AutoCAD, which is used by many engineers and architects for design activities including drafting. Autodesk’s software is used by over 6 million people. They are the 5th largest PC software company in the world. They employ approximately 3,500 people. In the past fiscal year they earned $1.2 billion.

Alias produces 3D graphics software used in the creation of special effects, video games, industrial, and automotive design. They were founded in 1983 under the name Alias Research. They merged with Wavefront Technologies under SGI in 1995 and changed its name to Alias in July 2003. In June, 2004 they were spun off from Silicon Graphics Inc. and acquired by Accel-KKR and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. In the 2005 fiscal year they earned $83 million in revenue. They currently employ approximately 600 people. Alias customers include DreamWorks SKG, Pixar, Nintendo, Industrial Light & Magic, General Motors, and BMW. According to Alias, their software has been used in nearly every film nominated for an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best Visual Effects and Best Animated Feature Films categories.

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