Aug 16, 2011

ESI Group acquires IC.IDO, the leading European vendor of immersive virtual reality solution

ESI Group, pioneer and world-leading provider of virtual prototyping solutions, today announced the acquisition of IC.IDO GmbH, the leading European vendor of immersive virtual reality solutions.

A German headquartered company with operations and customer presence in Europe and the United States, IC.IDO (“I see I do”) specializes in the development of collaborative decision-making solutions serving primarily industries that manufacture highly elaborated products across multi-sites. Its virtual reality technologies enable customers to clearly present, manipulate in real time and exchange product information virtually, and resolve manufacturing and serviceability issues in an immersive and distributed environment.

Founded in 2000 to industrialize advanced research from the world-famous Fraunhofer research Institutes, IC.IDO was voted startup of the year by McKinsey in 2003. Privately held, the company employs world class experts in the field of virtual reality and has gained a prestigious client base in the Automotive and Aerospace sectors as well as in Mechanical and System Manufacturing industries (OEMs). Representative customers and strategic partners include Audi, Airbus, BMW, Boeing, Bombardier, Caterpillar and John Deere. IC.IDO has built a reliable, repeatable revenue stream from existing customers, , generating sales of around €4.6 million in 2010, with a double digit EBIT margin and growth rate.

Vincent Chaillou, President and COO of ESI Group, declares: "This high performance 3D visualization technology is key for our customers to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical prototyping worlds because it combines a remarkably intuitive and robust immersive user interface with unique real-time physics simulation. This combination will enable ESI to provide the best end-to-end virtual prototyping solutions with the best 3D interactive and immersive visualization capabilities".

Christian Matzen, COO of IC.IDO, comments: "We are very proud to be joining ESI Group as we share the same passion for innovation and technological excellence. Together we will develop the next generation of virtual prototyping software to enhance the user experience and informational value of immersive interaction."

Ralf Heimberg, CEO of IC.IDO, adds: "By leveraging ESI’s worldwide distribution network, we will expand our reach and customer focus outside central Europe. We are confident that the numerous customers and prospects that both organizations are already jointly serving will appreciate the tremendous added value that will come from this combination of best in class physics and immersive visualization."

Building on this acquisition, ESI Group intends to enhance the virtual prototyping visualization capabilities of its present products and solutions. This transaction constitutes an excellent opportunity for both teams to capitalize on their unique strategic fit and synergies, in the areas of innovation, software development and global delivery.

Alain de Rouvray, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ESI Group, comments: "This acquisition achieves a quantum leap in ESI’s value offering to manufacturing industries by creating a truly exciting user experience and an unprecedented effectiveness for virtual engineering. It also further strengthens our local operations in German-speaking Europe. The transaction fully reflects our commitment to continuously enhance our internal resources with complementary business process and domain expertise as we strive to bring top class innovation and competitive advantage to our customers worldwide."