Moldflow Proprietary Ltd., the Melbourne, Australia-based developer of process control software for molders, said a Boston venture capital firm had purchased a 25 percent stake in the company with the aim of eventually taking it public. Neither Moldflow nor the venture capital firm, Ampersand Ventures, disclosed the purchase price.
Moldflow said the investment will help it pursue its global expansion plans, which may include acquisitions, and boost product development spending.
For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, the firm reported sales of A$26 million (US$19.2 million). No timetable has been set for going public, though Moldflow said that may occur within two years.
The company's major shareholder remains an Australian private investment syndicate, led by merchant bank J.T. Campbell & Co. Ltd. Other shareholders include Nomura/Jafco Investments (Asia) Pty. Ltd., a Japanese investment firm, and senior Moldflow executives.
Although Moldflow will retain its Australian headquarters, where it also develops new products, the company is likely to take on a much more American character in the years ahead, said Roland Thomas, director of the company's consulting business.
Moldflow draws some 98 percent of sales from outside Australia.
``We see the United States as the lead market,'' Thomas said. ``Things that happen, happen here first.''
In August, for example, Moldflow moved the headquarters of its consulting business to its main U.S. office in Shelton, Conn. The consulting group handles customers who want to outsource the entire process of designing and manufacturing plastic parts.
Moldflow continues to expand its computer-aided engineering business, which develops software that analyzes part and mold design, materials and processing factors.
Last month, Moldflow also announced it has formed a North American partnership with Matra Datavision Inc. of Andover, Mass., a maker of manufacturing software. Matra is part of the Lagardere Group of Les Ulis, France.
The marketing partnership will offer what it calls the Total Plastics Solution, which will cover parts production from design to actual manufacturing.