Hexagon acquires Bricsys

Swedish software giant Hexagon AB has acquired Belgium’s building design and collaboration software business Bricsys.

Bricsys logoErik De Keyser (Bricsys CEO)BREAKING (London – 1pm BMT) – In London today, opening the 2018 conference of Ghent, Belgium building design and collaboration software developer Bricsys, CEO Erik De Keyser announced a milestone: Bricsys has been acquired by Sweden’s Hexagon AB (read Hexagon announcement) for an undisclosed amount.*

Hexagon’s executive vice president Rick Allen said: “The acquisition will have a disruptive and lasting effect,” highlighting the company’s flexible approach to software licensing and stressing the versatility of the DWG file format. The deal adds building CAD and BIM software capabilities, plus collaboration via the SaaS product Bricsys 24/7 (rebranded from Chapoo a year ago), to the Hexagon PPM portfolio. In 2017, Bricsys’s turnover was approximately €13 million (c. £11.5 million or $14.9 million).

Bricsys’s CAD platform, BricsCAD, supports 2D/3D general, mechanical, and sheet metal design and building information modelling (BIM) in one system. It is 100% based on the DWG design format (described by Hexagon as the “de facto standard design format”), and gives designers, engineers and BIM professionals access to thousands of vertical CAD applications created by third-party developers. Bricsys also offers time-saving, artificial intelligence-driven add-ons – from conceptual modelling to seamless BIM workflows and cloud connectivity.

Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén says:

Hexagon logo“Hexagon has long been a leader in structural & process piping design. The Bricsys acquisition extends our domain expertise into building design, adding walls, floors, doors, and other construction related features. More importantly, we can now provide the AEC market with an end-to-end platform – with conceptual design, CAD design, BIM software and collaboration tools, project and cost controls, in-field construction execution tools (work packages), and progress documentation (reality capture) – to connect, automate, and ultimately ‘autonomise’ the entire building and construction ecosystem through our HxGN SMART Build solution.”

HXGN SMART Build and Bricsys 24/7 fit

Update (1.45 pm, 23 October 2018) – The mention of HxGN SMART Build is potentially significant for Bricsys 24/7.

Launched in June 2016 (news release), HxGN SMART Build intelligently links models, schedule, and cost in a cloud and mobile building construction management solution for construction planning and execution. It connects site-based field workers to the office, offering real-time, bi-directional communication to align planning and execution of construction. In June 2017, Hexagon announced it was partnering with Skanska – the construction business planned to use SMART Build to consolidate all elements of its estimation, design, planning, scheduling, pre-construction and construction processes into one cloud platform.

On the face of it, it sounds like SMART Build offers a lot of the functionality that one might expect in a common data environment like Bricsys 24/7 (since last year, Bricsys has started to use the CDE term – its session this afternoon is entitled “The Future of the CDE“).

* Update (14 November 2018) – Ralph Grabowski opines: “The purchase price was not announced, but given Bricsys revenues of 13 million Euros a year, we can assume a purchase price estimated roughly at US$45 million, given the typical 3x valuation metric.”

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