Dassault to acquire Accelrys

Dassault Systèmes, which provides 3D engineering design software and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, is to acquire Accelrys, which produces software for chemistry, biology, and materials science.

With a price-tag of $750 million, the valuation of the company has surprised some industry observers. However, during a Dassault press call on 30 January 2014, Max Carnecchia, Chief Executive Officer and President of Accelrys, said: ‘We believe we have created an important, valuable and unique company, and while we are very excited about the prospects of coming together with Dassault, Bernard was not the only one with the vision to see that.’ Interest from other parties may have influenced the $750 million valuation of the company.

Until this move, Dassault Systèmes had not been much involved in the informatics market that Accelrys aims so many of its products. Accelrys has been a serial acquirer in its own right, and over the past two years has bought several companies and products including: Vialis; ChemSW; Aegis Analytical Corp; Hit Explorer Operating System (HEOS) from from Scynexis; VelQuest; and Qumas.

‘Leveraging the great Accelrys assets, we will deliver a unique and unmatched scientific PLM solution,’ said Bernard Charlès, President and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. Charlès went on to say: ‘Our ambition is to offer solutions in all areas of bio sciences, where we want to be leader.’

There is a clear overlap between the products that Accelrys offers to the Aerospace industry, principally Materials Studio and Pipeline Pilot, and the type of products that Dassault Systèmes has typically been interested in. But this acquisition may herald some disruptive competition within the informatics sector, if a company with the resources that Dassault can command dovetails all its software products together to achieve that stated leadership in biological sciences.

Dassault has recently acquired US-based software developer Apriso as well as Realtime Technology, a provider of 3D visualization software.

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