IBM to buy French PLM software consultancy

IBM Corp. is acquiring French engineering IT consultancy EADS Matra Datavision, the companies said Monday, in a deal that will bring 700 new employees to the IBM Business Consulting Services unit created through IBM's recent purchase of PwC Consulting.

EADS Matra Datavision is a Paris subsidiary of EADS NV, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. The organization provides consulting, integration, e-business software deployment and education services to industrial clients in Europe and North America.

IBM said it is particularly interested in EADS Matra Datavision's PLM (product lifecycle management) services. IBM has for several years been partners with EADS Matra Datavision, which provides integration and distribution services for IBM's Catia, Enovia and Smarteam suites of industrial PLM software.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed; IBM said only that the acquisition is a multimillion-euro deal. EADS Matra Datavision had 2001 revenue of approximately 101 million euros, according to a company spokeswoman.

EADS Matra Datavision currently has a staff of 900, but only about 700 will make the transition to IBM. Not included in the deal is EADS Matra Datavision subsidiary Open Cascade, which has a staff of 100 providing services and support for open-source 3D modeling tool Open Cascade. EADS Matra Datavision Chief Executive Officer Jacques Vannier will also leave the company before it becomes part of IBM, an EADS Matra Datavision spokeswoman said.

Pending regulatory approvals, IBM expects the acquisition to be completed in the fourth quarter and take effect Jan. 1, 2003.

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