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Autodesk Making Discreet Purchase

In June, Avid Technologies bought Softimage [AF 6/17/98], combining two powers of digital production and 3D graphics. Not to be outdone, in a similar yet reversed situation, San Rafael, California-based Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) has announced plans to acquire Montreal, Canada-based Discreet Logic (Nasdaq: DSLGF). Autodesk is the parent company of Kinetix, makers of 3D graphics and animation software such as 3D StudioMAX and Character Studio. The merger had some foreshadowing, as Kinetix and Discreet Logic announced a product integration partnership in March [AF 4/7/98]. Discreet Logic, makers of editing and broadcast production software such as inferno* and flame*, will be integrated with Autodesk's Kinetix business unit and become Discreet, a division of Autodesk. The combined entity will be headquartered in Montreal with its 350 employees managed by Richard Szalwinski, Discreets co-founder and current president. The deal, worth approximately $520 million, is subject to several conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of the shareholders of both companies. Closure is expected by the end of 1998. Until this transaction is finalized, both companies shall operate as separate entities.