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Dassault Systèmes has agreed to buy a portion of IBM’s
sales and client support service for its product lifecycle management software in
a deal valued at $600 million in cash.

The deal includes the PLM software portfolio, customer contracts and related
assets. It marks the biggest such deal in Dassault’s history, and the French
technology company says it will integrate part of IBM’s
sales force and operations into its own team.

In addition, Dassault will become an IBM
Global Alliance Partner to expand the services partnership between the two
companies.  

Dassault says the deal will mean simplified engagement and support processes
for its PLM customers.

“The adoption and integration of PLM and 3D collaboration by a growing number
of enterprises require deep industry knowledge," said Bernard Charlès,
president and CEO of Dassault Systèmes, in a
prepared statement.

"We are reaching a new level of customer engagement built on commitment,
multi-industry knowledge and high-value solutions for sustainable
innovation," Charlès said. "Looking forward, the wide adoption of 3D
lifelike experience and PLM will require the combination of direct sales, our
network of partners and online communities."

IBM and Dassault expect to continue joint
investment in developing, deploying and supporting client PLM environments and
delivering integrated PLM solutions to their clients worldwide. In addition,
the companies say they are dedicated to strengthening and extending their
cooperation in professional services, cloud computing, middleware, flexible
financing, hardware, and sales and distribution.

"With this announcement, IBM is
evolving its partnership with DS to better align our mutual strengths and
better address our clients’ PLM needs," said Tom Hawk, general manager of IBM’s
Global Industrial Sector, in a prepared statement.

IBM Software Group Senior Vice President
Steve Mills adds that the deal will help both IBM
and Dassault grow in the PLM space by allowing them each to focus on core
competencies.

“The extensive use of IBM Software platforms
in the DS application portfolio will continue to make our partnership unique
and valuable to our customers," he said in a statement.

IBM and Dassault expect the deal to close in
the first half of 2010, subject to execution of local agreements and completion
of regulatory processes and applicable labor relations requirements in various
countries.