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Alias to Acquire Kaydara

In its first major step since becoming an indie, Alias will acquire Kaydara, maker of Motionbuilder and FBX, providing leading realtime 3D character animation and motion editing solutions. Alias was recently acquired by Accel-KKR and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan from SGI.

"Kaydara has quickly become the recognized leader in its field, and this strategic acquisition brings an additional pool of highly complementary intellectual and technical property to Alias' existing product and service portfolio," said Doug Walker, president of Alias. "This move effectively unites the top 3D product development talent in Toronto and Montreal - allowing our team to harness this combined creative power and deliver innovative 3D software solutions that enable our customers to create, visualize and communicate the world's most compelling digital visual experiences."

Operating under the Alias name, Kaydara will remain in Montreal and current president Michel Besner will stay with the company and join Alias' executive management team.

"Kaydara has built an impressive business over the past 10 years, serving a number of leading clients in the television, film, game development and Web content industries," added Besner. "The time was right to team up with Alias, as Kaydara will now benefit from access to further investment, Alias' existing technology, and the company's strong global marketing and distribution network. Ultimately, this union will bring even greater value to customers of both companies and the overall 3D industry."

Kaydara products - most notably Motionbuilder and FBX - will continue to support all current industry platforms and will be sold as standalone products under the Alias brand name. FBX, a widely used standard for the universal exchange and reuse of 3D content, will continue to be offered as a vendor neutral format. Motionbuilder's unique realtime architecture, intelligent character technology and breakthrough story system lets any 3D animator create state-of-the-art results in record time, while FBX allows animation teams to easily transfer assets between multiple tools used during production. Recognizing the importance of openness and accessibility in the production pipeline, Alias has pledged to continue to offer FBX as a vendor neutral format.

"The future for Alias is incredibly positive," Walker continued. "This is our first major step taken since becoming an independent company and operating in an environment enabling Alias to deliver significant new value to our customers in a shorter period of time. We're in a unique position to push the science of 3D further and faster than we ever have before, and we'll continue to evaluate organic growth opportunities and additional strategic acquisitions in the design and entertainment markets."

The purchase is expected to close within 60 days, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.

As a leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias (www.alias.com) develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, Web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara. Alias was recently purchased by Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Over the course of the past decade, Montreal-based Kaydara (www.kaydara.com) has become a leader in the development of realtime character animation and motion editing solutions for the entertainment industry. Kaydara's product portfolio serves a vast and varied range of clients in the TV, film, game development and Web content industries.

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