ANSYS to Acquire Fluent

15 Feb, 2006

Move nearly doubles the size of one of industry's largest CAE vendors

CAE developer ANSYS announced today it will acquire Fluent, a CAE developer specializing in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software. ANSYS says the combination of its software products and services with Fluent's will create one of the most complete, independent engineering simulation software offerings in the industry. ANSYS has a history of acquisitions, but this one almost doubles the size of the company in terms of revenue: Fluent reported total sales of $121.9 million in 2005 (unaudited), and ANSYS closed 2005 with revenues of $158 million, up from $134.5 million in 2004.

ANSYS already ranks among the top vendors in the CAE market, which is characterized by an abundance of smaller, specialized developers. Many CAD vendors, including UGS, CATIA and PTC, also develop CAE applications. ANSYS serves a wide range of industries with both high-end multiphysics applications and more easy-to-use desktop tools designed to work with CAD applications such as Inventor, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER and Mechanical Desktop. Fluent CFD products simulate fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, and related phenomena involving turbulent, reacting and multiphase flow.

ANSYS has some CFD products already in its lineup. In 2003, ANSYS acquired CFX, a CFD developer, for $21 million in cash, and in 2001, it bought CADOE, which developed CFD software as well as applications for structural, electromagnetic and acoustic analyses. The company also completed two other acquisitions in 2005: Century Dynamics and the assets of Harvard Thermal, a developer of thermal analysis software tools. Century Dynamics develops analysis software specialized for offshore structural analysis, nonlinear dynamics and hydrodynamics. ANSYS' past history of buying other vendors should prove valuable in assimilating Fluent.

Market research firm Daratech has predicted sales of CFD simulation technology to experience an annual growth rate of 18% through 2009.

ANSYS reportedly will issue 6 million shares of its common stock and pay around $300 million in net cash to acquire Fluent, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The transaction is valued at approximately $565 million based on the $44.11 per share closing price of ANSYS common stock on February 15.

With more than 40 direct sales offices and 17 development centers on three continents, the combined company will employ around 1,350 people.

"Both companies have a strong commitment to their customers and employees and share a passion for the development of innovative products and services and a history of world-class execution," said James Cashman, president and CEO of ANSYS.

"This merger brings together two great companies with a shared vision and strong engineering focus," said Bharatan Patel, CEO and founder of Fluent. "The combination of our R&D teams and complimentary technological strengths will enhance our ability to deliver innovative world-class simulation software technologies to customers."

Patel will continue to work closely with the combined company to provide his expertise and knowledge under a separate multiyear consulting agreement. Ferit Boysan, president and COO of Fluent, will join ANSYS as vice-president and general manager.