Software giant Dassault Systèmes is to take a majority stake in PLM specialist Centric Software in a move aimed at driving end-to-end digital transformation, speed-to-market and innovation for the global apparel sector.

Dassault says the combination of Centric's PLM (product lifecycle management) tools and its own 3DExperience industry processes will create more business value for customers.

"As we are connecting the dots of the value network for customers in 12 industries and 70 segments, we understand the specific needs of the sectors that launch their products by collection," says Bernard Charlès, vice chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. "Centric Software is joining us with a market-leading, well-tailored, configurable PLM solution and a great team of experts fully dedicated to making these particular customers successful."

Dassault says it will keep Centric Software independently operated.

Headquartered in California's Silicon Valley and with offices in 13 countries, Centric Software provides product lifecycle management software solutions to around 600 brands globally, including Auchan, Belle China, Bestseller, Fast Retailing, Kering Group, Li & Fung, Loblaws, LVMH, Mango, PVH, Ruyi Group and Under Armour. In 2017, the company grew over 60% for a revenue of US$61m and generated positive net income.

Its PLM platform is used for a range of needs, including merchandise planning, product specifications, materials management, product sourcing, cost scenarios, and quality management, with the aim of increasing efficiency, accelerating time-to-market, and improving sales and product margins.

"By partnering with Dassault Systèmes, Centric Software will have the backing of a world-leading innovation company," says Centric Software CEO Chris Groves. "Our combined expertise in digital transformation, PLM and the 3D Experience platform will allow us to accelerate the development of market-driven innovations to help our customers develop a competitive advantage and fuel growth."

Under the terms of the agreement, Dassault Systèmes will acquire for cash a majority ownership of Centric Software, and an advance payment on the acquisition of the remainder of the shares, which will take place in 2020 and 2021.

The total consideration for the acquisition of 100% of Centric's equity will depend on its revenue growth and profitability in the two years to come, and will comprise between four and six times 2019 and 2020 revenues.