Autodesk, Inc, creator of noted 3D graphics creation tool 3D Studio Max, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, a privately held developer of 3D graphics technology and the creator of major rival 3D graphics tool Maya, for $182 million in cash.
According to the company, this acquisition will grow Autodesk's expertise and offerings for the design of consumer products and automotive, as well as in the media and entertainment markets. Both 3DS Max and Maya are used heavily with in the video game industry, making this a particularly notable event for game development professionals. Autodesk anticipates that the transaction will close within the next four to six months.
"This acquisition brings to Autodesk a highly talented group of individuals, a wealth of technologies and a great set of products," said Carl Bass, COO of Autodesk. "Alias' technology spans several of our most important markets and augments the synergy between our design and media businesses. Our design customers are demanding more powerful visualization, animation and publishing capabilities. Our media and entertainment customers are increasingly using the data created by our design applications for broadcast, film and games projects. By combining the technology and talents of our two companies, we will be better able to continue delivering solutions that address our customers' complex needs."
Founded as Alias Research in 1983, Alias is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Alias customers are some of the world's premier entertainment and manufacturing companies, including Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks SKG, Nintendo, General Motors and BMW. Alias revenues were $83 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005.
Alias' product lines comprise sketching, animation, visual effects, design, modeling, rendering and reviewing solutions. Alias MotionBuilder is Alias' 3D character animation product, Alias FBX is widely used in the exchange and use of 3D content, and Maya is the company's Academy Award-winning 3D application. These products will augment Autodesk's offering in the film and video and interactive games segments.
Autodesk has confirmed that it will continue to develop the Alias product lines in conjunction with Autodesk's complementary products and technologies. The acquisition is subject to a number of closing conditions, including regulatory approval. More information on the ramifications of the acquisition are available on a special webpage
set up by Autodesk.