CAD/CAM Strategic alliance between Missler Software, Alma seen as precursor to formal merger

Author / Editor: Eric Culp / Stéphane Itasse

Missler Software has combined its activities with Alma, which has taken a minority stake in FMS, Missler’s holding company. In a joint statement, the partners said the move will likely result in a merger of the two French CAD/CAM software developers, their products and their distribution networks.

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The cooperation is expected to enable the merged entity, tentatively titled the AlmaMissler Group, to offer a wide-ranging, integrated CAD/CAM/ERP product line. Expectations are that the new company will be large enough to increase international growth and release resources to finance research and development.

The complementary nature of Alma’s products (sheet-metal working, cutting and robotics CAD/CAM) and TopSolid (CAD, CAM and ERP) is seen allowing the new company the ability to offer a fully integrated CAD/CAM/ERP solution for mechanical engineering, toolmaking, machining, sheet metal, mechanical welding, wood and robotics.

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As software developers continually consolidate, only companies achieving a certain critical size can successfully develop and innovate on international markets with industrial growth, according to the partners. The new company will have a core staff of 300, and its workforce will reach 600 when affiliated entities and major resellers are included. Minimal overlap between the companies’ product lines and improved economic conditions following the global financial crisis mean no jobs will be lost, the partners said.

Significant savings resulting from the pooling of components, developments and distribution costs are expected to bring the AlmaMissler Group increased resources for R&D, innovation and the development of new markets.

Industrial project

The partners said the cooperation represents an industrial project rather than a financial one. The companies’ expect the consolidation to enhance their international presence. Currently, each company sells approximately 60% of its software licenses outside of France. Already market leaders in France, the two companies have a presence in more than 20 other countries through branches and resellers.

Their strategy for the new company includes the development and extension of the market life of the product line, reinforcement of investments, and ensuring the wellbeing and motivation of employees. Maintaining the independence of the merged company is said to be paramount, and software will continue to be developed in France. Alma and Missler foresee an 18-24 month period in which both will work toward the union and cooperate closely together on product development, optimising domestic and foreign sales and consolidating the companies’ cultures.

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