3D printing companies on the move with acquisitions, IPOs

If there's an industry that is moving as fast as 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing), I haven't found it yet. Stratasys Ltd., a global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, announced on April 2 that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire two privately-held companies, Solid Concepts Inc. and Harvest Technologies.

According to information released from Stratasys, Solid Concepts is the largest independent additive manufacturing service bureau in North America and a fast-growing partner to RedEye, Stratasys' existing digital manufacturing service business. With seven facilities in North America, Solid Concepts, based in Valencia, CA, provides a wide range of services. In addition to 3D printing/additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping, the company offers CNC machining, cast urethanes, injection molding and tooling.

Solid Concepts 3D printing capabilities include PolyJet, Stereolithography (SLA), plastic (SLA) and metal (DMLS) laser sintering, fused deposition modeling (FDM), and QuantumCast cast urethanes. The company serves numerous markets including the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, industrial, medical devices and equipment, and sporting goods among others.

Harvest Technologies, based in Belton, TX, is a specialty additive manufacturing service bureau founded in 1995. Harvest runs a fleet of 40 laser sintering (LS/SLS) machines in a state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, with approximately 80 employees. According to Stratasys' information, Harvest has "deep manufacturing process knowhow and focuses on advanced end-use parts applications." Harvest Technologies was the first additive manufacturing company in North America to become AS9100/ISO 9001 certified, and produces end-use parts for multiple industries.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement with Solid Concepts, Stratasys will acquire Solid Concepts for total consideration of up to $295 million, including a payment on closing of $172 million (or, if settled in cash, part on closing and part six months after closing), deferred payments of $60 million and up to $63 million in retention-related payments.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement with Harvest Technologies, Stratasys will acquire Harvest for an undisclosed amount, including retention-related payments, payable in cash, shares, or a combination thereof.

"With Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies, together with RedEye, we expect to create a strategic platform to meet our customers' additive manufacturing requirements by significantly expanding our offering, targeting new applications, and strengthening our customer relationships," said Stratasys CEO David Reis. "Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies are industry pioneers and innovators in the additive manufacturing space. In acquiring these two unique companies, Stratasys is gaining a broad solutions offering with technologies and decades of application and manufacturing experience which, together with RedEye, are expected to create an industry-leading additive manufacturing and parts production platform."

In other news, April 2 was also the date that Belgium-based 3D printing software firm Materialise filed with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering of American Depositary Shares. According to a Reuters report, Materialise said it had provided more than 8,000 3D printing software licenses to over 4,000 customers, including Ford Motor, Co., Airbus and Boeing So.

Reuters reported that Materialise, which also serves consumer industries, told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in its filing that the company plans to use proceeds from the IPO to expand its business. The company said it expects to raise about $125 million from the IPO but the final size may be different.                                             

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