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Autodesk Completes Acquisition of Alias

Autodesk Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of Alias for $197 million in cash. This acquisition extends Autodesk's 3D software leadership in the manufacturing and media and entertainment industries.

"We're excited to welcome Alias customers, partners and employees to Autodesk," said Carl Bass, coo of Autodesk. "The acquisition of Alias is about fulfilling Autodesk's vision to give design and creative professionals the best software tools for realizing their ideas. Customers are demanding the next-generation of 3D photorealistic visualization and animation tools, and we are poised to deliver. In the future, 3D assets will be created once and shared across a range of industries, from automotive and architectural design to films and games. This will be enabled by Autodesk technology."

The combined company has more than seven million users. Alias' automotive and design customers include BMW, Boeing, General Motors, Mattel, Honda, Renault and Rollerblade. Alias' media and entertainment customers include major film studios and game developers, such as Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks SKG, Weta Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts, Midway Games, Nintendo and SEGA. Many of these customers use both Autodesk and Alias products, providing an opportunity for the combined company to deliver a more comprehensive suite of solutions.

As previously reported, Alias' products, technology and services will be integrated with Autodesk's Manufacturing Solutions and Media & Ent. divisions and Autodesk's Consulting organization. Alias StudioTools software for design tasks ranging from 2D sketches to production models adds new design and visualization capabilities to Autodesk's manufacturing portfolio. The acquisition also grows Autodesk's media and entertainment portfolio with Alias' Maya software, an Academy Award-winning application, Alias MotionBuilder 3D character animation software and FBX, a widely used format for the exchange and use of 3D content.

Autodesk plans to continue the development and support of Alias products and services. The combined company's research and development priority is to link Autodesk's and Alias' existing products, delivering increased interoperability and improved data management. In the manufacturing industry, this will give users an extended workflow into conceptual design, as part of Autodesk's design-to-manufacturing solution. In the media and entertainment industry, many customers already use products from both Autodesk and Alias. As such, they will benefit from a streamlined workflow for digital film, broadcast and game projects.

Several Alias management team members have joined Autodesk, including Dave Wharry and Michel Besner. Wharry, formerly Alias vp of Global Sales and Marketing, is now vp of Sales for Autodesk's Media & Ent. division. Besner, formerly Alias vp of Business Development Emerging Markets, is now leading product management for Autodesk's Media & Ent. division 3D product portfolio. Alias' former global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, remains as a key development center for Autodesk.

Autodesk is reaffirming its previously issued standalone fourth quarter fiscal 2006 guidance. Excluding the impact of the Alias acquisition, net revenues are expected to be between $405 and $415 million and earnings are expected to be between $0.34 and $0.36 per diluted share.

Including Alias results for the remainder of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, Autodesk expects net revenues to be between $409 and $419 million. Due to the impact of in-process R&D expenses, amortization of intangibles, and equity-based compensation expenses, earnings per share are currently expected to be in the range of $0.31 to $0.33 on a GAAP basis. Excluding these items non-GAAP EPS is currently expected to be in the range of $0.33 to $0.35 in the fourth quarter. As previously reported, Autodesk believes that Alias will be slightly accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in the 12 months following the acquisition. Autodesk will provide updated guidance for fiscal 2007, including Alias in conjunction with the release of its fourth quarter financial results.

Autodesk Inc. is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, infrastructure, building, digital media and wireless data services fields. Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information, visit

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.