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April 18, 2004

SGI raises $50m from sale of Alias subsidiary

Silicon Graphics Inc has sold its Alias Systems graphics software business to a private equity firm as it continues to focus on its core hardware business and strengthening its balance sheet.

By CBR Staff Writer

The sale of the Alias business to Accel-KKR will allow Mountain View, California-based SGI to focus on its high-performance server, workstation and storage assets and follows the sale of its StudioCentral Library asset management software to Rumble Group Pty Ltd in 2002 and the spinning off of its MediaBase streaming server software as Kasenna Inc in January 2000.

The sale of our Alias business unit is another step in our long-term program of focusing on our core systems business, said Bob Bishop, chairman and CEO of SGI. We’re applying our full attention to build momentum in Linux-based high-performance systems, and we are pleased that under new ownership, Alias will also be in a position to continue its tradition of industry-leading innovation in its core business.

SGI announced that it was in talks to sell the Alias business to a private equity firm in February as it raised $50m from a cut-price sale of shares to institutions as it seeks to strengthen a balance sheet weakened by a history of losses.

The sale of Alias will add another $50m in net proceeds to the company’s accounts after working capital adjustments and transaction costs. Accel-KKR is actually paying $57.5m for the software business, which has operated as a separate subsidiary of SGI.

$57.5m is something of a bargain price for a business with the pedigree of Alias. Based in Toronto, Canada, Alias focuses on 3D graphics software for the interactive media and design visualization markets. Its software has been used in the creation of films such as The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and Shrek, and the company was awarded an Oscar for technical achievement in 2003 for the development of its Maya 3D animation and effects software.

The Alias business had revenue of approximately $51.8m and an operating profit of $4.9m for the nine months ended March 26, 2004. SGI is scheduled to announce its financial results for the quarter ended March 26 on April 20, when it will give more details of the financial impact of the Alias sale on its financial figures.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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