Dassault comfortably announces two acquisitions

Contact: Ben Kolada

Even though the European economy is still struggling and M&A is an inherently risky business, Dassault Systèmes was able to comfortably announce a pair of acquisitions today, at least partly because the company is still growing. The purchases of Archividéo and FE-DESIGN are its first purchases in nearly a year.

Archividéo is a 3-D modeling vendor based in Rennes, France. Its software is used for urban planning, and could be particularly valuable to Dassault’s operations in emerging economies such as China. It has more than 250 customers, including cities, utilities and technology companies. Karlsruhe, Germany-based FE-DESIGN, on the other hand, provides product design optimization software to more than 200 customers. The acquisition fits into Dassault’s product lifecycle management segment, which is its fastest-growing business.

Terms weren’t disclosed on either transaction, but the deals aren’t likely to significantly impact Dassault’s financials. The pair of acquired companies adds just 70 employees to Dassault’s payroll. FE-DESIGN, the larger of the two based on headcount, generated only €5m ($6.6m) in revenue in its fiscal 2012.

The acquisitions come at a time when Eastern and Western European acquirers are staying out of the M&A game. As their home markets continue to sputter economically, the number of deals announced by European buyers so far this year has dropped 16.7% compared with the year-ago period. (That is slightly more than the 15.6% decline in tech transactions so far this year across the globe.)

Dassault, however, could comfortably announce a pair of acquisitions (however small they may be) because the company is still posting revenue growth. That’s noteworthy when we consider that the stagnant European economy accounted for 44% of the company’s total sales in its first quarter. Total revenue in Q1 grew 5.7% over the year-ago period.

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