Welcome to 2016! Deals continue …

Jan 4, 2016 | Hot Topics

Happy New Year! May 2016 bring you nothing but happiness, health and prosperity!

It’s starting the way 2015 ended: with news of acquisitions and divestitures. Nemetschek says that it has concluded its acquisition of all of the shares of Solibri. You may remember from December that Solibri makes software used in BIM model quality assurance and quality control.Today, Nemetschek also announced that it has sold its 70% interest in Glaser -isb cad- Programmsysteme GmbH for €2 million. Glaser develops and distributes structural engineering solutions and had been part of the Nemetschek Group since 1998. Nemetschek says this was necessary to consolidate its CAD engineering focus on its100%-owned subsidiary, Allplan. Glaser -isb cad- had contributed around €2.3 million to Nemetschek revenue in 2015. Glaser -isb cad- will be removed from continuing operations revenue as of December 31, 2015, while Solibri’s results will be consolidated with Nemetschek’s as of January 1, 2016.

In the world of IoT, PTC is going to acquire Maine-based Kepware, maker of tech that enables connectivity in industrial automation environments, for $100 million up front plus up $18 million more based on achievement of strategic initiatives and financial results. Clearlt,, this is intended to boost PTC’s Internet of Things (IoT) offering for factories and the Industrial IoT (IIoT). PTC says Kepware’s KEPServerEX, which connects devices and control systems to create a single stream of operating data will “become a strategic component of the PTC ThingWorx IoT technology platform. Once the companies’ products are integrated, machine data will be able to be aggregated into the PTC ThingWorx platform, integrated with a wide array of internal and external information, and then automatically analyzed using ThingWorx machine learning capabilities. The integration will allow organizations to gain tremendous enterprise-wide insight and to proactively optimize mission-critical processes – enabling them to improve operational performance, quality, and time to market.”

This is the devil in the details: millions (billions? trillions?) of industrial machines already generate mountains of data every single day, much of which is barely leveraged. Part of the problem is that this data comes in so many formats, via different systems, that drawing conclusions is very difficult. The keys in PTC’s statement above are integrating, aggregating and analyzed — if Kepware can help PTC do this, it will go a long way to making its IoT offering truly useful for industrial companies.

PTC says Kepware had revenue of $20 million in the last 12 months (so paid a >5x revenue multiple, for those keeping track) and that it will draw on its credit facility to finance the transaction. It expects Kepware to be neutral to FY’16 non-GAAP EPS. The transaction is expected to close in early 2016. Important: PTC intends to maintain the Kepware partner ecosystem.

But perhaps the biggest news while we were all sipping eggnog is that 3D Systems is exiting the consumer-oriented 3D printer market. You probably know that 3D Systems has been struggling lately, as has Stratasys’ Makerbot unit, so this shouldn’t really be a surprise but it is still a stark reminder that cool technology does not necessarily equal market success. 3D Systems says it is ending support for the Cube 3D printer and closing the cubify.com site on January 31. The $2,799, professional-focused, CubePro printer will continue to be sold and supported. 3D expects its “shift away from consumer products” will enable it to “focus its resources and strategic initiatives on near-term opportunities and profitability.”

Welcome to the new year — looks a bit like the old, no?