Autodesk Buys Alias: Why Has Adobe Missed This Chance?

 |  Includes: ADBE, ADSK
by: Sramana Mitra

Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) has bought Alias, a privately held developer of three-dimensional graphics technology, for $182 million in cash. Toronto-based Alias posted revenues of $83 million for the year ended June 30. Its customers include car makers BMW and General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) and game maker Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY). Alias is a leader in the Industrial Design Tool category, and also has offerings in 3D Animation / Entertainment Graphics Tools, where it competes with Autodesk.

Just about a year back, Alias was spun out of SGI by Accel-KKR in a deal valued at $57.5 Million (1X revenue; 7X net income).

Good deal for Accel-KKR, for sure. Whom else is it a good deal for?

Well, it is a very bad deal for Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), whose 3D strategy is virtually non-existent. As THE leader in Content Production Tools, it is rather strange that Adobe sat in the sidelines, watching Autodesk walk away with Alias, strengthening its already strong 3D story.

There is only one industrial strength 3D technology (with an independent kernel) left in the market now … think3.

I guess there is only one way left for Adobe to enter the 3D market, but if Autodesk rolls up the 3D space altogether before Adobe has a chance to act … well then it’s game over!