Delcam and Autodesk Seal the Deal

Autodesk, Inc. completed its acquisition of Delcam earlier this month. I like the synergy behind this combination.


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Delcam President Clive Martell highlights benefits of Autodesk buyout at UK press conference. 

The news is straightforward. Last November, Autodesk announced its intention to acquire Delcam, the CAM software developer based in Birmingham, UK. (Delcam's products include PowerMill, PowerShape and PowerInspect. Other Delcam brands include Featurecam and Partmaker.)

As of February 6, 2014, the acquisition was completed following a favorable vote by Delcam shareholders to accept the offer (reportedly worth $286 million, making this the largest acquisition in the CAM industry, according to Clive Martell, Delcam's President).

At a press conference last week at Delcam's UK headquarters, it was also announced that Delcam will operate as a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Autodesk, with no significant changes planned for its business. In the short term, Delcam's existing customer base isn't likely to detect any disruption in service or operation as a result of this transaction.

Going forward, however, both Delcam and Autodesk see a strong synergy between the organizations, creating new opportunities for sharing technology and expertise. Chiefly, Autodesk brings to Delcam increased financial support, expertise in design and engineering as well as access to a much broader base of potential customers. Likewise, Delcam brings to Autodesk a suite of well-developed products and established brands that expand the larger company's foothold in manufacturing and fabrication.

I had several opportunities to discuss the acquisition in private conversations with Delcam's Clive Martell as well as Autodesk's Buzz Kross, senior VP for design, lifestyle and simulation products and Carl White, senior director, manufacturing engineering. My clear impression is that these key people share a similar outlook on the future of manufacturing as a digital experience that fulfils the imaginative impulse with a culmination in functional, marketable products. Importantly, they agree that this experience should be available to inspired entrepreneurs and inventors as well as global corporations with widely distributed manufacturing operations.