Ever since Dassault Systèmes bought Gemcom, mining has been a hot area of focus for the major engineering software providers. It’s an underserved market that presents a lot of opportunity for more modernized, technological solutions. Mining is under significant regulatory scrutiny, which means huge penalties when things go wrong – a sweet spot for the PLMish world if ever there was one.
Today, Hexagon announced that it’s acquiring Mintec, whose MineSight resource modeling, optimization, planning and scheduling solutions were seen to compete with Gemcom in many areas. Like Gemcom, MineSight is used for mining precious and base metals, for coal, oil sands and industrial minerals with the intent of improving productivity throughout a mine’s life
Like many niche engineering software providers, Mintec started as a small consulting company in 1970 to help companies with mine modeling and design. These consulting engagements led the company to develop software that it eventually commercialized.
Hexagon says that Mintec has 232 employees, but offered no other details of the company or acquisition.
The company sees this as a strategic move, saying that wants to expand out of mine operations into planning and scheduling to “close the loop and control data flow from design and mine planning through extraction and back into life-of-mine planning, providing a comprehensive flow of data across all mining operations”. Combining technology from its Leica, Devex, SAFEmine brands with Intergraph’s computer-aided dispatch solutions with Mintec will, according to CEO Ola Rollén, give Hexagon the ” tools and technologies to leap ahead of the competition, giving Hexagon a unique position in the market.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions; the deal is expected to close by the end of June.
Image of MineSight Planner courtesy of Mintec.
This brings up a question I get quite often: what are “customary closing conditions”? It varies from deal to deal but it usually means
- obtaining regulatory approval (for example, when one competitor buys another, does this combination create a monopoly?)
- verifying that everything each side of the transaction claimed is basically true (that big contract really exists, the bank balance really is as promised)
- all owners sell their shares to the acquirer or some sort of compromise is reached
- all legal issues are disclosed and cleared, and so on.
Deals fall apart all the time, but usually before a public announcement such as this one.