Accelrys and Symyx join R&D forces in merger deal

A pair of scientific informatics players--Accelrys and Symyx--announced plans to merge this morning. Both boards have already signed off on the stock swap deal, which creates a company with a $335 market cap, $150 million in cash reserves and no debt.

The deal creates an "unrivaled scientific software company," boasted Max Carnecchia, chief executive officer of Accelrys (ACCL), which can now count 29 of the top 30 biopharmaceutical companies as customers. And after the two companies are combined, Carnecchia said that he expects to see $10 million to $15 million in reduced operating costs.

The CEO went on to emphasize that the merger was driven by some big changes in the R&D process, with developers feeding a growing appetite for collaborations, outsourcing and any kind of R&D efficiencies they can find.

In a call with analysts this morning, Carnecchia emphasized that the companies are "99 percent complementary," matching Accelrys' computer-aided design modeling and simulation offerings--which help customers conduct scientific experiments 'in silico'--with Symyx's electronic lab notebook. The companies overlap in only two small areas, he added, a legacy content business and data management around chemistry registration.  

- here's Accelrys release