21 September 2008

PTC Pro Engineer company for sale? Yours for $2Bn!

The news is that for only 2.4 billion dollars you can buy Pro E - not just the software but the whole company. They have hired Goldman Sachs to help find a big company with the cash. Why would the Needham, MA USA based PLM company be looking for a buyer after all these years? Less than two years ago, PTC acquired a $230 million credit facility from a bank syndicate for buying other companies themselves. As with many things, timing could be a factor. The news conveniently broke just as PTC is set to announce their largest sales figure ever, one billion dollars for the year making it the largest selling MCAD still based in the USA. PTC also was also awarded the large EADS PLM contract in July. Good news now could mean a good selling price - especially in the face of a looming decline in MCAD sales for the industry in general. And who knows? Maybe PTC CEO C. Richard Harrison really does want to collect the total 15.5million now promised him since July should the company sell.

The proposed sale of PTC follows a wave of major corporate consolidation in the CAD CAM software industry. Autodesk recently bought Moldflow. German company Siemens bought UGS who bought EDS who then owned the Unigraphics brand. Cimatron merged with GibbsCAM. And the list goes on.

Who, if anyone, buys the company could greatly influence the future direction of the Pro Engineer product line, Linux support, etc. There are many reasons for this. SolidWorks and Solid Edge are examples of software with feature limits to prevent those products from directly competing with their owners' flagship products (CATIA and Unigraphics). Some platforms, like SDRC I-DEAS (now "merged" as part of Unigraphics NX) are slowly disappearing completely.

As useful as CAD standards are, they always change. And over time, even the most naive of design engineers understand that their "CAD standard" of today is only standard for as long as the corporate "powers that be" say it is.

1 comment:

cherian said...

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