Last December at Autodesk University (The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada), when Autodesk CEO Carl Bass took a tour of the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) booths, he was flanked by the executive team of Delcam — Glenn McMinn, president, Delcam North America; Clive Martell, CEO, Delcam; Steve Hobbs, development director, Delcam; and Bart Simpson, commercial director. It was a photo op that told what the legalities of mergers and acquisitions forbid them to discuss publicly — Delcam was about to become part of Autodesk.
Last November, Autodesk declared its intent to acquire Delcam, headquartered in Birmingham, UK. It would be the company’s second CAM technology purchase. The first was HSMWorks, acquired two years ago.
The acquisition of HSMWorks resulted in the development of Autodesk Inventor HSM, an integrated CAM package for Autodesk Inventor users. The product is a counterpart to HSMWorks for SolidWorks, an integrated package that works with Inventor’s rival. Later this year, Autodesk plans to offer its first cloud-augmented CAM product under subscription, branded Autodesk CAM 360.
This morning, Autodesk hosted a conference call to announce the completion of the Delcam acquisition.
While HSMWorks fulfills the need for an integrated CAM package, Delcam offers “not only classic CAM, milling, and turning, but also [customers in ] shoe and healthcare businesses,” observed Carl White, senior director, Autodesk manufacturing engineering products, during this morning’s conference call. “We think it’s a nice complement and it’s in a high growth market,” he added.
Delcam’s portfolio includes Delcam CRISPIN, a CAM package specifically developed for footwear design and production. Because of the Delcam for SolidWorks product, Delcam also has a robust following among SolidWorks software users.
According to the press announcement, “Delcam will operate as a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Autodesk, with no significant changes planned for Delcam’s business.”
In post-acquisition operations, Delcam is expected to continue sales and distribution with its own channels. In this morning’s call, Delcam’s CEO Clive Martell said, “We know the vertical market very well, we’ll partner with Autodesk sales teams, but it’s important that we stick to our core competencies, to our existing customers, and we look to engage with our autodesk customers more.”
In a small market with a finite number of developers, Autodesk’s ownership of two leading brands, each with considerable footprint among those who use the competing CAD product SolidWorks, gives the company a tremendous advantage. That benefit may have made Delcam’s purchase price of £172.5 million (U.S. $286 Million) a worthwhile investment.