What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at www.aycinena.com. She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.
M&A: Mentor triumphs, Tanner customers not so much?
April 1st, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
Last October, I had a lively conversation with Tanner EDA President Greg Lebsack. He was enthused about the company’s tools, technology innovations, and future. For that reason, it seemed surprising to hear that Tanner was acquired by Mentor Graphics. A close reading of the March 3, 2015, press announcement suggests Mentor intends to continue to support Tanner’s products despite a possible overlap between some of the tools of the two companies, fully acknowledged in the press release.
I have no doubt that President Lebsack backed the sentiments attributed to him, but it’s hard to understand how melding the tools from Tanner into the Mentor armamentum is good for Tanner’s customers, or the industry as a whole.
Instead of having access to the services and tools of a small, committed organization, Tanner customers will now have to deal with one of the mega-sized sales organizations within EDA. No matter how caring the Mentor sales organization may be, or their FAEs, it’s a mystery how dealing with them would be easier for customers than dealing with Tanner’s smaller, more personal enterprise.
To drive that point home, listen to what Greg Lebsack said in our conversation last October:
Okay, so clearly Tanner was moving towards an expanded marketing budget last October, but did they have to get full-on acquired to meet that goal?
That’s the question that was on my mind when, interestingly, I received this week [no doubt, along with many thousands of recipients] the following email on March 31st.
All of this is well and good, but when I actually opened the video and watched the tutorial, ModelSim from Mentor referenced in the opening slide was not actually mentioned in the voice-over narration for the PowerPoint presentation, only Tanner tools.
That seems pretty telling to me. Mentor may be celebrating the triumph of having acquired one of the crown jewels in the ecosystem of second-tier EDA companies, and those with a substantial equity stake in Tanner, but it remains to be seen if the customers of that particular crown jewel will be as enthused. Only time will tell.
Per the March 3rd Press Release: “Harvest Management Partners, LLC advised Tanner Research, Inc. regarding the sale of the assets of Tanner EDA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.”