Autodesk acquires PlanGrid for $875 million — the company’s largest-ever purchase

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Autodesk, Inc. based in San Rafael says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PlanGrid, a provider of construction productivity software, for $875 million net of cash. “This acquisition will enable Autodesk to offer a more comprehensive, cloud-based construction platform,” the company says in a statement.

The deal is Autodesk’s largest acquisition ever, Fortune Magazine reports. It is also the first major acquisition for Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost, who took over the design software firm 16 months ago.

PlanGrid software lets general contractors, subcontractors and owners in commercial, heavy civil and other industries work together throughout the construction project lifecycle. PlanGrid software offers real-time collaboration, keeping the field and the office on the same page. It gives builders real-time access to project plans, punch lists, project tasks, progress photos, daily field reports, submittals and more.

“As designing and making converge, Autodesk is connecting project data from design through construction and putting predictive insights into the hands of contractors,”  Anagnost said in in the news release. “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitization and automation. The acquisition of PlanGrid will accelerate our efforts to improve construction workflows for every stakeholder in the construction process.”

“At PlanGrid, we have a relentless focus on empowering construction workers to build as productively as possible,” said PlanGrid CEO Tracy Young. “One of the first steps to improving construction productivity is the adoption of digital workflows with centralized data. PlanGrid has excelled at building beautiful, simple field collaboration software, while Autodesk has focused on connecting design to construction. Together, we can drive greater productivity and predictability on the jobsite.”

Jim Lynch, construction general manager at Autodesk, said: “This acquisition allows us to do more for general contractors, and we’ve got new growth opportunities with subcontractors and owners. We’ll integrate workflows between PlanGrid’s software and both Autodesk Revit software and the Autodesk BIM 360 construction management platform, for a seamless exchange of information between all project members.”

Autodesk and PlanGrid have developed complementary construction integration ecosystems to which customers can connect other software applications. The acquisition is expected to expand the integration partner ecosystem, giving customers a customizable platform to test and scale new ways of working.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during Autodesk’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, ending Jan. 31, 2019. Because the exact timing of the close is unknown, Autodesk has not included any impact in its business outlook for the fourth quarter. However, the company expects it to contribute slightly to revenue and be modestly negative for profitability and cashflows for the quarter.

For fiscal year 2020, Autodesk expects PlanGrid to contribute approximately $100 million in ARR and be slightly dilutive to profitability and cash flow. Inclusive of the transaction, the company is maintaining its free cash flow goal for the year.

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