Apr 15 2004

Dassault Systèmes and RAND Worldwide Announce Joint Venture for PLM Sales in North America

Agreement strengthens Dassault Systèmes presence in North American market; solidifies RAND financial position

 

Paris, France and Mississauga, Canada – April 15, 2004 – Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) and Rand A Technology Corporation, operating as RAND Worldwide (TSX: RND) today announced plans to create RAND North America, Inc. (“Rand Americas”), a new joint venture focused on increasing sales of Dassault Systèmes Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software in North America.

 

Subject to closing of the proposed transaction, RAND Worldwide will transfer its North American PLM software sales business unit (approximately 55 employees) to Rand Americas, a new U.S. company, 60% owned by Dassault Systèmes and 40% owned by RAND Worldwide. Dassault Systèmes will pay RAND Worldwide CDN$11 million, as well as reschedule RAND Worldwide loan payments.

The goal of the new structure is threefold: to create a dynamic that will further improve PLM small-and-medium sized business (SMB) sales across the North American continent, to grow Dassault Systèmes’ PLM Solutions market share; and to reinforce RAND Worldwide’s financial position. RAND Americas will operate as an IBM Business Partner selling Dassault Systèmes PLM solutions as RAND Worldwide is today.

Rand Americas will become a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes. Brian Semkiw, currently CEO and a director of RAND Worldwide, will become the new CEO of RAND Americas. RAND Worldwide president Frank Baldesarra will become CEO of RAND Worldwide. The transaction, which is expected to close on or before June 30, 2004, is subject to customary conditions, including documentation and approval by RAND Worldwide’s Board of Directors. The new arrangement involves neither RAND Worldwide’s PLM software sales business in Europe and Asia-Pacific, nor any other parts of the company’s global business operations.

“We believe that Dassault Systèmes’ continued commitment to RAND and to investing in the PLM market will significantly improve our North American business and, in turn, help us to return to global profitability and predictable growth,” said Frank Baldesarra.

“Together, we will accelerate the sales of Dassault Systèmes’ best-in-class PLM solutions and RAND Worldwide’s leading PLM services to the mutual benefit of all of our customers,” said Brian Semkiw. “The new structure will bring our two companies into even closer global partnership in the rapidly growing PLM marketplace.”

“After a successful transition, RAND is a key part of our global PLM software and service distribution plan. The transaction further improves our position in North America and will help to generate a market dynamic that benefits all of our partners" said Etienne Droit, executive vice president, Sales and Services, Dassault Systèmes.

Further details related to this agreement will be discussed in Dassault Systèmes’ earnings conference call on April 29th, 2004.

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