Quickie: Sad news from BETA CAE, plus updates from Altair, MuM and RIB

Dec 17, 2018 | Hot Topics

A quick catch-up on recent happenings, starting with the sad news that the Managing Director of BETA CAE Systems SA, Christos Kolovos, passed away on December 7. He was one of founders of BETA CAE and was a member of the Boards of Directors of several group companies and, since 2016, was the Managing Director of BETA CAE Systems SA, Greece. I met Mr. Kolovos only once and found him to be passionate about simulation and BETA, and very much involved in future developments. Our thoughts are with the BETA team and his family.

On a happier note, Altair announced last week that its takeover of Datawatch is complete. Altair CEO Jim Scapa reiterated why this deal mattes to Altairians (his word, not mine J):  “With a shared vision around the convergence of simulation and data science, we believe Datawatch’s current and developing products and technologies can significantly enhance the value Altair delivers to our customers. We are well-positioned to execute on the new opportunities Datawatch provides us while building on their vibrant existing business.”

Switching to the world of AEC and construction, RIB Software announced that it will assume sole control and ownership of its YTWO Formative joint venture from Flex Ltd. YTWO is a combo of RIB’s BIM-based and supply-chain solutions for AEC: Flex supplied a growing product catalog, which it has said will remain available via YTWO. This is a bit of a blow to RIB, since YTWO was supposed to revolutionize the building industry, tying together design, purchasing and construction phasing — but the deal seems to imply no real change to the platform, just to the relationship between RIB and Flex. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, with RIB paying Flex $48 million plus an additional payout to Flex if YTWO achieves specific transaction values in the next three years. 

And, finally, Mensch und Maschine, the Autodesk VAR and software developer, announced that it will increase its ownership stake in SOFiSTiK from 13% to 51% as of January 1, 2019 via a share swap that sees SOFiSTiK’s founders and management staying on. SOFiSTiK makes structural analysis software for the AEC world as well as detailing solutions based on Autodesk’s AutoCAD and Revit products. MuM CEO Adi Drotleff said of the transaction, “As a strategic minority shareholder, we accompanied SOFiSTiK AG since our first entry in 1999 and have always been impressed by the high technological quality of the structural analysis and reinforcement software. We also appreciated how SOFiSTiK recognized very early the chances and opportunities that come with BIM. They share with M+M more than one decade of experience in this new design method, which can drive productivity in building design and construction to an unprecedented level.” SOFiSTiK CEO Thomas Fink, for his part, said, “Our membership to the M+M group as one of the leading CAD/CAM providers will further improve our market standing and enable synergies in the BIM field to be exploited. Nevertheless SOFiSTiK will stay a family enterprise at the core, quite similar to the M+M group, being both a public and private company.” MuM’s announcement said that the transaction will positively affect all financial metrics, and will give further guidance when it announced 2018 results on March 11, 2019.