Markforged merges with one to go public as a $2.1 billion 3D printing business

Metal and carbon fiber 3D printer manufacturer Markforged has agreed to merge with blank check company one (NYSE: AONE)to go public with its 3D printing business, a move that when complete will value the combined company at $2.1 billion.

Due to be completed in the summer of 2021, the deal will see Markforged listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ‘MKFG’ and will provide up to $425 million in proceeds to the company. Markforged aims to use the funds to advance its growth strategy across key verticals and strengthen the competitiveness of its new products and proprietary materials.

“Our mission and vision are to reinvent manufacturing by bringing the power and agility of connected software to the world of industrial manufacturing,” said Shai Terem, President and CEO of Markforged. “Today is a pivotal milestone as we progress towards making that vision a reality.

“We’ve been at the forefront of the additive manufacturing industry, and this transaction will enable us to build on our incredible momentum and provide capital and flexibility to grow our brand, accelerate product innovation, and drive expanded adoption among customers across key verticals.”

The Metal X 3D printer from Markforged. Photo via Markforged
Metal X systems around the world will contribute to the Digital Forge platform. Photo via Markforged

Markforged’s intuitive additive manufacturing platform

Claiming to serve the 10 largest aerospace companies and 12 of the 14 biggest automotive manufacturers, Markforged’s list of 12,000 global customers features big-name firms such as Siemens, Porsche, and Microsoft

Since its foundation in 2013, Markforged has established its European 3D printing headquarters in Dublin and opened a new 25,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Billerica, Massachusetts to support the production of its 3D printing materials. To date, the company has printed more than 10 million parts across the entire product development lifecycle with applications within the industrial automation, military and defense, space exploration, healthcare, and automotive sectors.

In November last year, the company launched its new industrial 3D printing software platform, the Digital Forge, designed to connect all Markforged systems in use around the world. Reportedly the first of its kind to use machine learning, the Digital Forge enables the company’s Eiger print preparation software to constantly learn from each of its systems throughout the 73 country-wide global fleet to continually increase printing accuracy. 

“We’re focused on making manufacturing even better by capitalizing on the huge opportunity ahead, and we are making this important leap through our new long-term partnership with Kevin Hartz and the entire team at one,” continued Terem. “Their expertise and guidance will be invaluable as we continue to reinvent manufacturing today, so our customers can build anything the imagine tomorrow.”

3D printed copper component. Photo via Markforged.
3D printed copper component. Photo via Markforged.

Going public on the NYSE

Markforged is going public via a definitive business combination agreement with one, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by technology industry veteran Kevin Hartz and sponsored by A-star. One completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in August last year to raise $215 million in cash proceeds, and will now combine with Markforged at an estimated $2.1 billion post-transaction equity value.

The $425 million in gross proceeds raised through the deal also includes a $210 million Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) at $10 per share, which involves the buying of shares of publicly traded stock at a price below the current market value per share in order to raise capital for the public company. Investments will be contributed by Baron Capital Group, BlackRock, Miller Value Partners, Wasatch Global Investors, and Wellington Management, in addition to commitments from Markforged’s existing shareholders Microsoft’s venture fund M12 and Porsche Automobil Holding SE

Current Markforged shareholders are expected to hold around 78 percent of the combined company’s shares following the closing of the deal in the summer. According to a statement issued by Markforged, the boards of both companies unanimously approved the transaction.

“Markforged has already reinvented the additive manufacturing industry and is well-positioned for robust growth benefiting from the velocity of digitization,” said Hartz. “When launching one, our priority was to partner with a company with exceptional founders, visionaries, and operators taking a differentiated approach in large and growing markets – Markforged ticked all of those boxes and more.”

Greg Mark, Founder and Chairman of Markforged, added: “As we take Markforged to the next level, we have found the ideal partner in one. Kevin and his team recognize not only Markforged’s ability to transform the way businesses innovate, but also the brilliant, passionate employees that make this company so unique.”

Markforged joins the likes of fellow metal 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal which went public with its 3D printing business through a SPAC merger last August. Following the announcement, shares in other metal 3D printer manufacturers rose, with investors seeing the move as a sign of confidence in Desktop Metal’s technology. At the time, 3D Printing Industry asked several experts in the 3D printing sector what the deal could mean for the wider additive manufacturing industry.

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Featured image shows the Markforged X7 3D printing system which contributes to the Digital Forge platform. Photo via Markforged.