Dassault Acquires SolidWorks

From: Terry T. Wohlers (twohlers@compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Jun 26 1997 - 02:57:14 EEST

The following is a bit of news to chew on.

Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.

Dassault Systemes Acquires SolidWorks!

June 24, 1997. French producer of market-leading
CATIA software announced today that it has acquired
privately-held upstart SolidWorks of Massachusetts in
exchange for $300+M worth of Dassault stock.
SolidWorks has been the most exciting news in the
MCAD world for the past 18 months or so, having
kept its promise to offer users "Pro/E functionality at
the price of AutoCAD." It is a pure Windows play,
with a beautiful and elegant human interface over a
rock-solid modeling engine--EDS' ParaSolids. "Unlike
other modelers, we produce parts that can actually be
manufactured," SolidWorks president and founder Jon
Hirschstick has often said. The company is also proud
that its customers find it easy to do business with.

Bernard Charles, the market-oriented visionary who
heads Dassault Systemes, said today, "SolidWorks has
a clear identity and a well-functioning distribution
model for taking the AutoCAD mechanical market.
We view SolidWorks as 'design-centric' and CATIA as
'process-centric.' The CATIA customer is principally
concerned about scalability; the SolidWorks customer
is focused on design productivity. Jon and I have the
same open approach to the market, and we see the
products as appealing to clearly separate segments.
This association will enable SolidWorks to accelerate
its strategy, and will establish Dassault as a leader in a
portion of the market we have not addressed until

M. Charles said that the greatest challenge facing a
growing company--meaning Dassault--is to avoid
trying to control everything. "I want Jon (Hirschstick)
to continue to run SolidWorks to maximize its
success--and to provide him with the means to do so."

IBM markets the CATIA line; it will not market
SolidWorks at this time.

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