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Posts Tagged ‘Intergraph’

Intergraph settles 8-year lawsuit with Bentley Systems for $200M

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The following article in this week’s Huntsville Times settled a matter that many thought had been settled long ago:

Intergraph Settles $200M suit with Bentley Systems

HUNTSVILLE, AL — An eight-year lawsuit between the former Intergraph Corp. and Pennsylvania-based software maker Bentley Systems has been settled for nearly $200 million, according to court documents.

The settlement is among the largest in Madison County history, court watchers said.

As part of a settlement agreed upon last month, Cobalt BSI Holding, which bought Intergraph in 2006, will sell back to Bentley its 15.6 million shares of Bentley stock, at a purchase price of just over $12 per share, totaling about $198 million, according to court documents. In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt for $2.1 billion.

The settlement total includes $9.9 million in fees and expenses awarded to Cobalt’s attorneys, including Bartley Loftin III of Huntsville and his firm, Maynard Cooper & Gale.

Intergraph sold its civil engineering products to Bentley in 2000 and the deal included proceeds from maintenance contracts.

In 2002 the companies began their long courtroom skirmish, with Intergraph challenging how much Bentley owed it from a promissory note and Bentley countersuing in connection with Intergraph’s handling of the maintenance contracts.

As part of the settlement, both sides agreed not to issue press releases about the agreement or otherwise publicly discuss the case, except to note the agreement was “consensually resolved.”

A settlement hearing before Circuit Judge Tom King, from Jefferson County, who gave preliminary approval to the deal in December, will be Feb. 10 at the Madison County Courthouse.

-Huntsville Times

In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt BSI Holding for $2.1 billion.

One question that arose among those of us who have followed Intergraph since the days when Bentley Systems was owned by Intergraph, is: does Intergraph still own 30 percenet of Bentley Systems, and if so, how is Bentley affected by the recent news of this acquisition?

In an AECCafe Today blog, on July 13, 2010, Chris Barron, vice president of corporate marketing for Bentley, responded:  ”As a privately held company, Bentley does not routinely report on the identity of its minority stockholders or the stockholders or the size of their holdings. However, in response to your question, we can advise you that the Bentley shares previously held by Intergraph were transferred to an affiliate of its private equity owners following its going private transaction in 2006 and we have no indications that those shares are part of the sale to Hexagon.” 

Clearly much of what has gone on with Intergraph and Bentley has occurred under wraps and the two companies have agreed not to issue press releases or publicly discuss the case.

Intergraph releases enterprise viewing and markup software

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Intergraph just released the newest version of its enterprise viewing and markup software solution, SmartPlant Markup Plus. In an agreement with Informative Graphics Corp. Intergraph has been able to add new multi-format viewing and markup support capabilities.

The product will bundled with SmartPlant Foundation.  I would have thought it would be bundled with the CADWorx products from the COADE acquisition.

From the press release: “A major part of this new release includes embedded components developed by Informative Graphics Corp. (IGC), a leading provider of high-quality viewing, annotation, redaction and publishing software since 1990.  Further, the embedded IGC components provide an open, XML-based markup format which will enable powerful new interrogation, searching and linking capabilities.”

This release marks a direction we have seen Intergraph heading in since their acquisition of COADE a year ago, with more focus on CAD type solutions.

CEO Hexagon AB (acquirer of Intergraph in 2010) Ole Rollén, said at the time that CAD systems may be in their future again, “What we need to do is to deliver good application software and good solutions to the professionals….we have certain markets where I can see the need for CAD systems, going forward, but that’s more construction-related. You should be able to download a 3D model of a building, for example, and download that into your measurement device that will guide you where to put the air conditioning, spotlights, cabling in walls, etc. and these are technologies we are developing.”

He added that “Plant is probably our single largest application within the Hexagon group.”

Tug of War for CADWorx customers

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Concurrently with the CADWorx University User Conference sponsored by Intergraph, Autodesk announced the Autodesk Plant Conversion Program for CADWorx customers. The program “is designed to help users of Intergraph CADWorx software transition to the benefits of the Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2011, a new software suite for plant designers that offers plant design and whole-project review capabilities in a single integrated package,” according to the press release.

 

CADWorx is built on AutoCAD. CADWorx users who want to transition to the Autodesk Plant Design Suite will get a 6-step project start-up tool kit when they purchase a license to the Suite. The kit provides new project templates, migration tools, and reference materials to help simplify the conversion of legacy CADWorx specs and catalogs.

 

Autodesk’s Robert Shear, director of plant industry marketing, Autodesk AEC Solutions, said that the purpose of the conversion program is twofold – 1) if you want to convert to a new product you want to evaluate the capabilities, usability and productivity of a new product ahead of time, and you can download the Autodesk Plant Design Suite for free and try it out, and 2) users have invested in creating specifications for certain types of projects with specific content such as pipes, valves, etc. and that CADWorx users think that Autodesk has a “long term” roadmap.

 

The conversion promises to be usable for converters – quickly, which is not something one generally associates with 3D plant offerings. Plant design projects generally encompass a large number of AutoCAD users, who can transition from AutoCAD to other AutoCAD-based products without much of a learning curve.

 

Shear said (after attending CADWorx University) there is “long time loyalty among CADWorx customers” and believes CADWorx users are “looking for an alternative.” He suggests that these customers are concerned about the future of the resellers they deal with and about the frequency of updates and product support.

 

Executive vice president, Business Development, Intergraph Process Power & Marine, Patrick Holcomb, echoed this concern in saying that some users had feared that Intergraph might shut down CADWorx and maybe force upgrade to SmartPlant 3D or something else. “It was shocking – whether we liked it or not, we had a question mark in the audience starting the event; by the end of it, that was no longer an issue,” said Holcomb.

Customers wanted to know how Intergraph would make CADWorx successful. Already, CADWorx is successful, the company reports, with September being the biggest month they have had. In addition, at the conference they unveiled publicly CADWorx 2011 beta, which will be probably ready to release sometime in the next month.

 

Intergraph is clearly excited about the product line (see Getting Smart About 3D Plant Design with 3D CADWorx, GISWeekly, October 11, 2010) and have no plans of subsuming it or letting it go. Intergraph’s SmartPlant 3D is a behemoth plant design system that serves its purpose for large projects, whereas CADWorx and the other COADE acquisitions serve an entry level plant design market, addressing smaller projects, of which there are many.

 

Autodesk likens this scenario to Bentley’s acquisition of Rebis some years ago and their subsequent entry-level product, AutoPlant. This is another customer base that Autodesk offers a conversion plan to. When Bentley acquired Rebis, Autodesk did not at the time have a competing plant design software offering.

 

It is true that Intergraph has served larger projects very well, and has not focused on solutions for smaller projects. This is a new customer base for them. But my guess is that may be changing and broadening with the acquisition of Intergraph by Hexagon AB as well as customer requirements, which reflect the need for applications for projects such as brownfield projects.

 

In a recent interview with CEO Hexagon (soon to be owner of Intergraph), Ole Rollén, he suggested that CAD systems may be in their future again, “What we need to do is to deliver good application software and good solutions to the professionals….we have certain markets where I can see the need for CAD systems, going forward, but that’s more construction-related. You should be able to download a 3D model of a building, for example, and download that into your measurement device that will guide you where to put the air conditioning, spotlights, cabling in walls, etc. and these are technologies we are developing.”

 

Rollén also said: “Plant is probably our single largest application within the Hexagon group.” It stands to reason that the company would want to invest in as many aspects of plant design as it can to serve an existing and possibly growing customer base.

Shear said the cost of a license of the Autodesk Plant Design Suite is “roughly the same” as that of a license of CADWorx. But what Autodesk has going for it, in addition to offering 3D plant design, P&ID and basic AutoCAD in the Autodesk Plant Design Suite, is Navisworks, which unlocks legacy 3D data. 

So there you have it. Will CADWorx users want to make the switch from a product they have been happy with up until now…is this an offer they can’t refuse?

Funding the acquisition of Intergraph means selling bonds for Hexagon

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Hexagon AB plans to sell bonds to refinance part of the loans used to fund the acquisition of Intergraph Corp.

According to the article below, “The company plans to raise $850 million from a share sale to help refinance some of the debt after it completes the purchase. Hexagon said on July 7 it agreed to buy Huntsville, Alabama-based Intergraph for $2.13 billion to add software that helps companies visualize complex data and design factories, ships and oil rigs.”

Hexagon Plans Bond Sale to Retire Intergraph Acquisition Loans Bloomberg Business Week, October 12, 2010

Intergraph to be acquired by Hexagon AB

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The recent announcement that Intergraph has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Hexagon AB, raised questions among the media. Hexagon AB is a global measurement technology company, and the transaction is valued at approximately $2.125 billion.

According to the press release, “Upon closing of the transaction, Intergraph will operate as a separate Hexagon division under the Intergraph name and branding.  Intergraph will become Hexagon’s core software platform and will continue to provide differentiated and vertically-focused software solutions to its core industries.  Intergraph software will also be integrated into Hexagon’s existing measurement and precision technology system markets to provide a visual presentation layer for the management, analysis and sharing of the vast amounts of critical data produced by these products.”

Intergraph customers are assured that “upon closing of the transaction, Intergraph will operate as a separate Hexagon division under the Intergraph name and branding.  Intergraph will become Hexagon’s core software platform and will continue to provide differentiated and vertically-focused software solutions to its core industries.  Intergraph software will also be integrated into Hexagon’s existing measurement and precision technology system markets to provide a visual presentation layer for the management, analysis and sharing of the vast amounts of critical data produced by these products.”

One question that arose among those of us who have followed Intergraph since the days when Bentley Systems was owned by Intergraph, is: does Intergraph still own 30 percenet of Bentley Systems, and if so, how is Bentley affected by the recent news of this acquisition?

Chris Barron, vice president of corporate marketing for Bentley, responded:  “As a privately held company, Bentley does not routinely report on the identity of its minority stockholders or the stockholders or the size of their holdings. However, in response to your question, we can advise you that the Bentley shares previously held by Intergraph were transferred to an affiliate of its private equity owners following its going private transaction in 2006 and we have no indications that those shares are part of the sale to Hexagon.” 

In 2006, Intergraph was acquired by an investor group led by Hellman & Friedman LLC, TPG Capital and JMI Equity.  Pending regulatory approvals, as well as satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of 2010.
Incidentally, Hexagon AB is also the parent company for ERDAS, Inc., a company that focuses on incorporating geospatial information into businesses’ existing systems and data. ERDAS states that they do not see any change in business as a result of the Intergraph acquisition for the immediate future.
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