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Computer Associates Buys 2 3-D Graphic Design Firms


Computer Associates, the world's third-largest software company, took a bold step into the computer graphics arena Thursday with the purchase of two leading 3-D design firms that primarily serve the entertainment industry.

Viewpoint DataLabs of Orem, Utah, and 3Name3D of Marina del Rey will be combined into a wholly owned subsidiary of Islandia, N.Y.-based CA. The unit will retain the Viewpoint name and combine roughly 150 employees in California, Utah and London.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and no layoffs are planned.

Viewpoint's digital image library contains about 20,000 computer-generated models of objects ranging from fighter planes to rhinoceroses. 3Name3D, which sold an equity stake to CA last year, specializes in creating three-dimensional virtual environments. The bulk of the two privately held companies' customers work in film, television, computer games and advertising--especially in the creation of special effects.

The Viewpoint subsidiary will continue to serve its entertainment clients. But Computer Associates Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Wang said his company would integrate the 3-D technology into CA's core enterprise software business.

Martin Plaehn, chairman and CEO of Viewpoint, will continue as chief executive of the Viewpoint subsidiary, and 3Name3D President and Chief Executive Sandeep Divekar will be charged with melding the companies. Viewpoint and 3Name3D will combine their 30 Los Angeles-area employees into a single office in Marina del Rey.

CA shares rose 13 cents to close at $38.94 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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