First comments on Siemens acquisition of LMS – a synergistic acquisition

Having taken a back seat on acquisitions (compared to some of their PLM competitors), Siemens PLM Software, or should I say the greater Siemens, have reversed this trend quite dramatically over the past year. Indeed they’ve made some pretty shrewd acquisitions of late, none more so than today’s announcement on the acquisition of LMS International, a specialist in (notably model based) simulation and test. LMS is based in Belgium and their customer list reads like a who’s who in automotive and aerospace in particular (,not belittling the many other large manufacturing and energy companies and their aligned verticals).

While not amongst the giants in the engineering software space, LMS is very well known by the cognoscenti, especially in Europe. Together with organisations such as the ESI-Group (based in France with total sales ½ FY 2012 €44.7, up 22% on ½ FY11), mid-sized European engineering software companies continue to innovate and grow at rates well above that of many (larger companies) in the engineering software industry.

LMS have certainly been an interesting company to watch over the years, taking early advantage of markets such as wind power and making acquisitions including those of model based simulation experts IMAGINE (AMESim) in 2007, and Emmeskay in 2010.

Continuing on the topic of model based simulation; LMS is a significant (but not the largest) player in the Modelica market with their simulation products that include (acquired products from IMAGINE) AMESim.  Dassault Systèmes took an early lead in the Modelica market, buying what was the largest player at the time (Dynasim). More recently, Wolfram Research too made an interesting move beyond that of their traditional products, buying Modelica tool developer MathCore (from Sweden). With Siemens PLM entering the affray, this market is, I believe, poised for an interesting few years!

The Modelica market is small but rapidly growing segment of the model based simulation world. As a reflection of this, have a look at the on-going (and increasing) acquisition activity:

  • 2006 Dassault buys Dynasim
  • 2007 LMS buys IMAGINE
  • 2009 Cybernet buys MapleSoft
  • 2010 LMS buys Emmeskay
  • 2011 Wolfram buys Mathcore
  • 2012 Cydesign buys Deltatheta
  • 2012 Siemens buys LMS

More to follow …