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Bentley News: Public Stock Listing and Other News for Infrastructure Software Giant

Bentley may be going public soon and the company acquires UK AEC industry CDE leader GroupBC with its market-leading BS 1192 compliant SaaS tools used in construction.

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Bentley Systems, Inc. has released a string of interesting news items in the past month or two. In related Bentley news, our third annual INSIDER Report boasts a prime feature on an award-winning Bentley customer doing note-worthy innovations with AAD (algorithms-aided design) tools built into OpenBuildings Designer GenerativeComponents (OBD-GC).

Public Stock Offering

In mid-February, Bentley announced that it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, in the United States, related to the proposal to list Class B common stock for public trading.

Bentley acquires UK based GroupBC, makers of market-leading CDE tools serving the UK market that are BS 1192 complaint.

The SEC will need to go through its review and upon approval Bentley, a privately owned software giant will officially be a publicly listed company. The company is following all SEC rules and regulations, including the publication of this information, which you can read in full here.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

My CAD press colleagues have shared with me that Bentley’s discussions about “going public” go back awhile. There has been chatter within certain circles about Bentley Systems being set up to be acquired by a larger company at some point in the future (perhaps German giant Siemens, whom they have a strategic partnership with?). The public offering path represents other options. Architosh has already noted how impressed we were with the company’s positioning around Smart Cities technologies and partnerships visible at their globally attended Year in Infrastructure conference. We will leave our positive comment at that for now, but do look forward to seeing how this public offering will unfold. 

Bentley Acquires British GroupBC

Bentley has acquired GroupBC, a UK leader in the SaaS market for CDE (common data environment) tools. As we noted in our comprehensive guide to CDE tools in AEC (see: Architosh, “Ultimate List of CDE (Common Data Environment) Apps for Architects,” 14 Jan 2018), GroupBC is a leader in the UK AEC market for CDE tools. GroupBC’s CDE tools are also BS 1192 compliant in features.

Bentley notes that their software systems have been deployed alongside GroupBC’s SaaS-based tools for years for complimentary services. GroupBC gains in Bentley access to other markets around the globe and Bentley satisfies its investment appetite, particularly for international growth opportunities and access to the UK’s national initiatives for major infrastructure investments and a move towards digital twins.

GroupBC’s CDE solutions include BC Projects and BC Enterprise+ and both are widely used in the UK for information management respectively across construction and asset estates. In 2019, the UK’s (BS 1192) construction project information management guidelines were largely adopted within the global standard ISO 19650.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

It looks like GroupBC’s SaaS CDE tools will become part of the Bentley digital twins strategy, via federated CDEs with bi-directional synchronized data flows that can feed Bentley’s digital twins’ oriented products and services. Read the full press release here. 

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