On February 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised the shareholders of AGACAD, a Vilnius-based developer of building information modeling software, on the sale of 100% of their shares to France’s Arkance. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Donatas Aksomitas, Managing Director at AGACAD, to learn more about the sale.
CEEIHM: Could you please tell us a bit about AGACAD’s history and its mission?
Donatas: AGACAD, founded in 1991 in Lithuania, introduced the Baltic region to digital technologies for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). It was one of software-maker Autodesk's earliest European resellers and training centers, and from the start has also developed its own powerful solutions for computer-aided design and building information modeling (BIM).
Over the years, the company became the maker of the world’s largest range of expert BIM tools for the Autodesk Revit environment, currently with 13,000 users in 130 countries. In 2018, Autodesk made AGACAD one of its first ‘AEC Industry Partners’ – trusted providers of technologies that complement Autodesk’s own platforms.
We’ve always seen our mission as working closely with leading digital construction practitioners to achieve real-life workflow gains, turning their insights and best practices into tools that all clients can acquire.
CEEIHM: France’s Arkance recently acquired your company. How will that affect your business and what are some of your upcoming projects?
Donatas: Joining the Arkance group provides the resources to more fully realize our vision of creating tomorrow’s technologies for the building and manufacturing industries. It allows us to serve clients even better and work with major players we were sometimes too small to partner with in the past.
And it enables us to further build up our team of developers and intensify the industry-focused R&D work behind our software and service innovations. We intend to increasingly leverage that R&D engine for Arkance’s broader mission of supporting clients in their digital transformation journey.
CEEIHM: Why was AGACAD, in your opinion, attractive to Arkance?
Donatas: I think the main reason AGACAD was attractive to Arkance was its proven ability to create world-class, innovative digital technologies that offer new possibilities and large productivity gains for building and manufacturing industries. That capacity enables the group to add significant value to the broad-based digitalization platforms it distributes, in terms of being able to develop specialized applications to support the specific design and production workflow needs of its clients and markets.
CEEIHM: It was reported that Cobalt advised AGACAD’s shareholders on the sale. How did the firm structure the transaction? What complexities did Cobalt have to handle on this deal?
Donatas: The main objective for the Cobalt team led by partner Juozas Rimas was to properly represent the interests of the selling founders, while at the same time allowing the strategic investor, to a certain extent, to maintain the practices used in its M&A activities in a number of other countries. The deal went very smoothly due to the reasonable and flexible approach taken by both Arkance and AGACAD and the counsel of both parties throughout the process. It was also a great example of the new reality where two parties, who never get to see each other in person, can proceed successfully and efficiently with the negotiation, signing, and even closing of a transaction.
CEEIHM: Finally, could you tell us why you chose Cobalt as your advisor?
Donatas: AGACAD had worked with Cobalt in the past on a variety of corporate matters and always found them to be highly knowledgeable on both the legal and the business side, as well as proactive and efficient. For M&A work, the reputation of the firm – and in particular that of Juozas Rimas who heads the M&A Practice – preceded them. There was a long track record of deals where they successfully advised both local and international clients. So we knew we could count on them to represent our interests effectively and professionally in this transaction of historic importance to AGACAD and its founders.
Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.