Nemetschek, the Munich, Germany-based software group which includes Allplan, Vectorworks, Graphisoft, SCIA and Maxon, has announced that it is acquiring the US business Bluebeam Software, a provider of PDF-based collaboration solutions for architecture, engineering and construction professionals, for $100 million, creating a portfolio offering both BIM authoring and drawing-based workflow solutions.
Richard Lee, CEO of Bluebeam said:
“Today is an exciting day for Bluebeam Software and Bluebeam users alike. With its Open BIM philosophy, Nemetschek is committed to making project information available to everyone, a belief strongly held by Bluebeam as well. I look forward to working together to make digital project collaboration easier than ever.”
While Nemetschek solutions are extensively used in Europe and Asia, it has less penetration in north America. Bluebeam PDF editing, mark-up and conversion tools (eg Revu, Vu) are used by 74% of top US contractors and 64% of top US design Firms, according to Engineering News-Record top 50 firm rankings, so this acquisition will reinforce Nemetschek’s market presence in north America. Nemetschek AG CFOO Patrik Heider said
“Bluebeam is a perfect addition that strengthens our solution portfolio across the life cycle in the building process by adding drawing-based workflows to augment our model-based BIM workflows. As a result of the acquisition, we reinforce our goal of rising to become the world-leading open standards provider in the AEC market.”
According to the news release, Bluebeam will continue operating with its current management team and as an independent brand company – this is pretty much in line with Nemetschek’s normal strategy which allows its brands to function relatively autonomously. It will be interesting to see how this develops particularly in relation to Adobe and to Nemetschek’s BIM authoring rivals such as Autodesk and Bentley – I recall Bentley had a close working relationship with Bluebeam (AEC Magazine covered this in its account of the 2011 Bentley BE Inspired event).