Dassault to Pay $400M for Exa in Engineering Software Consolidation

Dassault Systèmes has agreed to acquire Exa Corporation, a seller of product simulation software, in a deal valued at about $400 million.

Dassault said it will pay $24.25 per share for Burlington, MA-based Exa (NASDAQ: EXA), a 43 percent premium to Exa’s closing stock price on Wednesday, the day before the deal was announced. Exa’s stock price closed at $24.18 per share on Thursday.

The cash transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, and is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Founded in 1991, Exa makes visualization and simulation software that designers and engineers use to make vehicles and equipment. The goal is to accurately predict the performance of designs, and reduce the need for making expensive physical prototypes or changes to a product late in the development process. Ford, Toyota, Komatsu, and Volvo Trucks are among the manufacturers that use Exa products.

Exa generated $72.6 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, but it posted a net loss of about $1.1 million. Still, those were better results than the previous year, when it reported a net loss of $4.8 million on $65.4 million in revenue.

Now, Exa’s technology and 350 employees are set to become part of Dassault, a much bigger company based in Paris and Boston. Dassault’s total revenue last year was over $3.5 billion (3 billion euros), with a net income of nearly $527 million (447.2 million euros). Dassault, founded in 1981, provides a variety of product development software and services, including tools for 3D computer-aided design, product modeling and simulation, and data management.

“With Exa’s valuable application knowledge in transportation and mobility and other industry verticals, we will accelerate our delivery of industry solution experiences to benefit our existing and future customers,” Dassault vice chairman and CEO Bernard Charlès said in a prepared statement.

Exa is part of a strong cluster of engineering and design software companies that have emerged in the Boston area over the years, including PTC (NASDAQ: PTC), GrabCAD (acquired by Stratasys in 2014), Onshape, Aras, SolidWorks (acquired by Dassault in 1997), and the local operations of Autodesk.

Exa’s sale continues a surge of acquisitions of Boston-area tech companies. Other recent examples include Applause, Digital Lumens, and Visual IQ.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

Trending on Xconomy