4 on a Friday: AspenTech and FARO acquire, Autodesk reports, and OpenFOAM is (still) independent

Sep 2, 2022 | Hot Topics

A lot of things to catch up on before the weekend:

AspenTech announced that it will acquire Micromine, maker of (you guessed it) mine design and management solutions for AU$900 million in cash (approximately US$623 million). AspenTech says Micromine “complements AspenTech’s existing asset optimization solutions and positions the company in a leadership role to deliver the “Digital Mine of the Future.” AspenTech said it “currently intends to finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and additional indebtedness” – but that “currently” make me think the financing isn’t wholly secured at the time of the announcement. Since Micromine is an Australian company, there may be more regulatory approvals needed than is typical — but the companies still expect the deal to close before the end of the calendar year. My take? Mining is hot and as ripe for digitalization as the chemicals and oil and gas industries that AspenTech has been working with for decades.

FARO announced that it has acquired GeoSLAM, makers of mobile scanning solutions (SLAM stands for simultaneous localization and mapping). FARO makes scanning solutions used in AEC and manufacturing applications — but they’re all stationary. SLAM allows users to quickly map areas –albeit usually at lower fidelity. FARO said that GeoSLAM had revenue of £14.5 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, and that “GeoSLAM shareholders received a cash payment of £22.0 million and 495,562 shares of FARO stock that is subject to customary lock-up provisions.” Why do this? Adding GeoSLAM gives FARO a range of reality capture solutions, from 360-degree photography to mobile lower fidelity and stationary high-accuracy laser scanning.

Autodesk reported results a few weeks ago, and I just haven’t had time for a long post, so here’s a quick recap: Total revenue in the fiscal second quarter was up 17% as reported and in constant currencies to $1,237 million. Within that total, Design revenue was $1,064 million, up 15%, while Make revenue was up 26% to $113 million. Sliced another way, AEC revenue was $564 million, up 18%, while Manufacturing revenue was $242 million, up 16%. And lest you think it’s all vertical solutions, oh no: AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT steamroll along, with total Q2 revenue of $344 million, up 13%. Details here, and I expect we’ll hear a lot more at Autodesk University in a few weeks.

And Chris Greenshields, the co-founder of OpenFOAM and Director of the OpenFOAM Foundation, wrote in to clarify that ESI does not (and never did) own OpenFOAM, the software. That is owned by The OpenFOAM Foundation to “ensure it is licensed exclusively as free, open source software: https://openfoam.org/ip-history/.” ESI does own OpenCFD, which makes an OpenFOAM open source CFD toolbox.