The announcement of a definitive share purchase agreement between Autodesk, one of the global leaders of 3D design and Graitec, will allow the software giant to significantly expand its portfolio of technology for Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Graitec is a global provider of CAD and engineering software for structural engineering, civil engineering and building construction headquartered in France. Graitec’s Advance Steel and Advance Concrete products offer modeling, detailing, and fabrication solutions to support BIM-based steel and reinforced concrete workflows.

Through the proposed acquisition, Autodesk will continue to lead the industry’s migration to BIM and the evolution of model-based workflows for structural engineers, detailers, fabricators and contractors who provide modeling, analysis, detailing, and production services.

“Autodesk continues to extend Building Information Modeling across the building lifecycle. The proposed acquisition of the Graitec technology will provide a more seamless structural engineering workflow, from design to fabrication and to construction, with enhanced offerings for structural steel and concrete detailing,” said Autodesk senior vice president of information modeling and platform products Amar Hanspal.

The deal will also see Graitec employees move across to Autodesk.

“Autodesk’s acquisition of the Advance Steel and Advance Concrete products in support of its BIM strategy is a testament to the expertise of the Graitec team and the quality of our steel and concrete detailing solutions,” said Graitec CEO Francis Guillemard. “Graitec continues to develop dedicated BIM software and services that are complementary to Autodesk, and together we look forward to maximizing the efficiency and performance of the global construction industry.”

Graitec said the transaction, while providing a significant financial return to all the investors, would also provide the means to strengthen its position on the European and Global markets and continue its innovation process in an ever-changing industry.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The announcement comes amid mixed financial news for Autodesk as the company faces declining sales and profits for this year. However Autodesk expects billing to rise at an average annual rate of 12 per cent through fiscal 2018 as they move toward selling more software subscriptions.

Autodesk currently has 1.9 million subscribers and hopes to increase this by 50 per cent over the next five years.

The move to a subscription-based service for more expensive software reflects a broader trend within the market as engineers and architects seek access to a steady stream of new features instead of being stuck with one version of a software package.