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ESI Group, pioneer and world-leader in Virtual Prototyping and Virtual Engineering solutions, today announces the acquisition of OpenCFD Ltd., the leader in the Open Source Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software segment, from SGI, the trusted leader in Technical Computing. ESI Group consequently becomes the owner of the OpenFOAM® trademark, widely recognized in automotive, energy, aerospace and other industry sectors, and assumes responsibility and initiative for the further development, quality and support of the software. ESI and SGI will be expanding their partnership and go to market collaboration to improve accessibility of CFD, at affordable cost, reliable quality, and competitive performance.


  • Embracing the Open Source Business Model

-               OpenFOAM® is a free, open source CFD software family and analysis toolbox. It is developed and packaged by the OpenFOAM® team within OpenCFD Ltd., a UK company, and it is distributed by the OpenFOAM Foundation.

-               OpenCFD Ltd contributes software, integrates modules and generates documentation to the OpenFOAM® software; it owns the OpenFOAM® trademark and provides services that support the effective deployment of CFD technology.

-               OpenFOAM Foundation is a non-profit organization; it was established for the purpose of ensuring the sustainable distribution of OpenFOAM®, exclusively under a ‘no cost Open Source license’ agreement. ESI will be the exclusive supporting arm of the OpenFOAM Foundation to guarantee the continuity of its Open Source business model and vision.


  •  Broad user base and a brand with substantial visibility in a fast-growing market

With a continually enforced quality level that benefits from a vast and interactive user base and developer community, OpenFOAM® is a highly popular software which has achieved strong penetration into major global industrial companies. One million copies of the software have been downloaded since 2005, providing free access to a powerful analysis tool box that meets the requirements of diverse industry sectors in the field of complex and state of the art fluid dynamics numerical simulations, involving multi-species, chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer.


  • Strong customer value creation and a unique opportunity for business expansion

ESI Group has already developed substantial OpenFOAM® expertise thanks to its historical knowhow in CFD and reinforced with its recent acquisition of Mindware. This is a natural and welcome complement to the OpenCFD team competencies, and it will further ensure successful downstream integration. ESI proven knowhow and success in industrial software development will further strengthen quality assurance and enable global support of a viable, trusted, and scalable solution for both large enterprises and small and medium size ones, to be made available via a flexible subscription model.

This acquisition consolidates ESI Group firmly at the leading edge of the evolution of the virtual engineering market, aligned with the increasing demand for Open Source software that in comparison to some incumbent, proprietary solutions may offer better freedom to customize and adapt to the business needs of each customer. This will accelerate the gradual adoption of “End-to-End Virtual Prototyping” by a broader community, through an unparalleled offering of scalable, advanced and integrated solutions, effective web and cloud access, and supporting professional services worldwide.



  • Accretive operation

OpenCFD Ltd. will be incorporated within the Group’s consolidated results from September 11, 2012. The acquisition comprises 100% of the company’s capital, and is being financed by the Group’s credit facilities.


Henry Weller, the creator of OpenFOAM®, co-founder of OpenCFD Ltd and a Director of the OpenFOAM Foundation, comments: "We are delighted to join ESI Group to accelerate OpenFOAM® development and expand support and training services. The advanced capabilities of our Open-Source CFD software OpenFOAM® are widely applicable for automotive, energy, oil & gas, process industries, consumer goods, and heavy industry. This makes our incorporation within the ESI Group well aligned with the Group’s broad industrial vision."


Alain de Rouvray, ESI Group’s Chairman and CEO, adds:

This acquisition is in line with our selective external growth strategy, and it reaffirms our ability to adapt to, welcome and anticipate changes in the Virtual Engineering market. Indeed we believe that the ‘Open source’ software model and the associated use of cloud computing will accelerate the low cost and gradual adoption of numerical simulation and, when applicable, will facilitate the further migration to the high value creation of ESI’s “End-to-End Virtual Prototyping” solutions.

OpenCFD Ltd. and its team of experts will allow us to reaffirm our leadership in CFD as a means to an end, namely Enabling Virtual Engineering for all. And it will also support the diversification of our business sectors and the adaptation of our business models. Important to our ‘go-to-market’ strategy, OpenFOAM®’s broad popularity will provide us with preferred access to its vast and global user base, giving further opportunities for our extended software and services offer, creating substantial value for our clients, staff and shareholders, while opening new, collaborative, innovative and promising perspectives.


OpenFOAM® and OpenCFD® are registered trademarks of ESI


About ESI

ESI is a pioneer and world-leading provider in Virtual Prototyping that takes into account the physics of materials. ESI boasts a unique know-how in Virtual Product Engineering, based on an integrated suite of coherent, industry-oriented applications. Addressing manufacturing industries, Virtual Product Engineering aims to replace physical prototypes by realistically simulating a product’s behavior during testing, to fine-tune fabrication and assembly processes in accordance with desired product performance, and to evaluate the impact of product use under normal or accidental conditions. ESI’s solutions fit into a single collaborative and open environment for End-to-End Virtual Prototyping. These solutions are delivered using the latest technologies, including immersive Virtual Reality, to bring products to life in 3D; helping customers make the right decisions throughout product development. The company employs about 900 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 30 countries. ESI Group is listed in compartment C of NYSE Euronext Paris.   

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Event Type:
Date: September 12, 2012