Farhad Ebrahimi acquires 5.1% of Stratasys shares, adding to stake in Desktop Metal

US billionaire Farhad “Fred” Ebrahimi and his wife Mary Wilkie Ebrahimi have acquired a 5.1% stake in 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys, worth $47 million.  

Both Fred and Mary Ebrahimi are now a party-at-interest in the company, having reported the acquisition to the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 26, 2024.     

Ebrahimi, who has a net worth of at least $1.1 billion according to Forbes, also owns 15% of Massachusetts-based industrial 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal’s (DM) shares. 

According to the 13D filing, Ebrahimi started buying Stratasys shares on 29 November 2023, and now possesses 3,549,961 individual shares in the company. Ebrahimi, the former CEO of software company Quark Software, has also purchased 592,500 Stratasys PUT options, with an obligation to buy expiring on 17 January 2025. 

The report on the holding classifies Ebrahimi as an activist investor. However, the filing states that Ebrahimi currently has no intentions to pursue mergers and acquisitions, part sales from the assets, or a change in the company’s management or board of directors.  

Stratasys' Headquarters in Rehovot, Isreal. Photo via Stratasys.
Stratasys’ Headquarters in Rehovot, Isreal. Photo via Stratasys.

Farhad Ebrahimi invests in 3D printing 

Ebrahimi’s recent Stratasys investment activity adds to his existing 15% stake in Desktop Metal.  

The billionaire investor first became interested in DM after it was announced that the company would merge with Stratasys in a $1.8 billion deal in May 2023. Following this news, Ebrahimi acquired 23,881,002, about 7.43%, of DM shares, and was a prominent supporter of the merger. However, the Desktop Metal merger collapsed in September 2023, after 78.6% of Stratasys’ shareholders voted against the deal. 

Despite the failure of the merger, Ebrahimi has shown continued interest in DM, purchasing $2.5 million worth of shares on October 19th alone. 

The 85-year-old investor has also loaded up on PUT options (obligations to buy) worth between $2 and $5, above the market price. Currently, Desktop Metal’s share price sits at $0.63 per share. In total, these PUT options represent tens of millions of additional DM shares. Acquired via Trusts and LLC, the majority of the PUT options expire in January and February 2024, with some dated for early 2025.   

Desktop Metal Production System. Image via Desktop Metal.
Desktop Metal binder jet 3D printers. Image via Desktop Metal.

Investments in additive manufacturing 

Stratasys and Desktop Metal are not the only 3D printer manufacturers to attract investment over the past year.  While the trading activity of Ebrahimi does not accrue to the either of companies, elsewhere several non-public companies are benefiting from private money.

In October 2023, Illinois-based 3D printer manufacturer Azul 3D secured $15 million in a Series A funding round, attracting interest from both existing investors and new backers. Global investment sources, including major electronics company DuPont, have invested in the company. Additionally, investors from the EMA and Asia regions, such as Beta Lab and GS Futures, joined the financing effort.     

The company is leveraging these funds to expand its High-Area Printing (HARP) proprietary vat polymerization technology into new markets. These markets include the manufacturing of specialized electronic components and custom devices. 

Elsewhere, microscale 3D printer manufacturer Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF) raised $24 million in a Series D round in August 2023. This funding round was led by Chinese finance service corporation Guotai Junan Securities

The company is using this funding to enhance its R&D efforts, expand and advance its end products, and fortify global partnerships in med tech and high-end manufacturing. This funding round came just one year after BMF raised $42 million in Series C financing in 2022.   

Subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter to keep up to date with the latest 3D printing news. You can also follow us on Twitter, like our  Facebook page, and subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry Youtube channel to access more exclusive content.

Are you interested in working in the additive manufacturing industry? Visit 3D Printing Jobs to view a selection of available roles and kickstart your career.

Featured image shows Stratasys’ Headquarters in Rehovot, Isreal. Photo via Stratasys.