Avid to Buy Microsoft Software Unit

Microsoft Corp. was atypically on the selling end of a transaction on Monday, as Tewksbury, Mass.-based Avid Technology Inc. agreed to acquire its Softimage software subsidiary for $285 million.

Microsoft will gain a minority interest of about 2.3 million shares in Avid, best known as a top maker of motion picture editing and post-production products, as part of the cash-and-stock transaction.

In a news conference held after the financial markets closed on Monday, Avid Chairman William J. Miller called the acquisition of Softimage a "milestone" that would strengthen Avid's presence in TV and animation technology. Quebec-based Softimage is a leading developer of animation and compositing software used for filmed entertainment and video game production.

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