The acquisition of Desktop Metal by Stratasys in an all-share deal valued at $1.8 billion is underway, according to reports.
UPDATE 1: Regulatory filings by Stratasys with the SEC have confirmed that a merger between Desktop Metal and Stratasys is underway. According to a Rule 425 filing, “The parties expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period.”
Desktop Metal is currently valued at $562 million by market cap, while Stratasys sits at $1.01 billion. Shares in Desktop Metal initially rose 30%, while holders of Stratasys equity saw their investment decrease by 2.49%. As the featured image shows, Desktop Metal is relatively young as a listed company – with trading on the NYSE commencing at the end of 2020.
Talks between the two 3D printing enterprises are reportedly “advanced [but] they could still fall apart or be delayed,” according to Bloomberg.
When approached by 3D Printing Industry, Stratasys declined to comment on the news.
Desktop Metal has been approached for comment, and this article will be updated on reply.
Stratasys has recently been the focus of a takeover attempt by Nano Dimension. Three unsolicited bids were made, with Nano Dimension offering $1.22 billion to buy Stratasys.
UPDATE 2: A fourth bid has been made by Nano Dimension to purchase Stratasys. The tender offer is for $18 per share, the same amount as the March 9th 2023 bid. The offer states that Nano Dimension would own between 53% to 55% of Stratasys if the deal were to proceed. Stratasys intends to advise shareholders of the Stratasys Board’s position regarding the Offer within ten business days.
The Desktop Metal acquisition of ExOne in 2021 for $575 million brought together these two large manufacturers of binder jetting systems. A Stratasys takeover of Desktop Metal would be further evidence of a 3D printing industry trend, consolidation.
Why does Stratasys want to buy Desktop Metal?
Stratasys was an early investor in Desktop Metal and has fostered an alliance with Ric Fulop’s company for some time.
A strategic partnership between Desktop Metal and Stratasys was announced in 2017, whereby Stratasys resellers were able to offer Desktop Metal 3D printers to customers. So while access to one of the largest reseller networks is advantageous, this is unlikely to be the key motivation for a possible deal.
The ability to sell metal 3D printers provides a more likely driving force for the acquisition. While polymer-based 3D printing has the larger market share, metal is the fastest-growing segment.
Stratasys does offer Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) as a service through their 3D printing bureau service Stratasys Direct. And in 2018, Stratasys announced a metal 3D printer based on Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM). An absence of news regarding this metal 3D printer since then indicates that the product did not find its expected market.
The launch of LPM followed the company’s $25 million investment in additive manufacturing metal powder producer LPW Technology in 2017. In a recent call with investors Desktop Metal drew attention to its “largest binder jet R&D team in the world” and the “largest library of production materials in a patent portfolio”. All assets would aid Stratasys in advancing in the metal 3D printing segment.
Making inroads into metal additive manufacturing must be a strategic objective for Stratasys. HP has been successful with its polymer-based Multi-Jet Fusion 3D printing and has now launched the HP Metal Jet 3D printer with stainless steel 316L and 17-4PH materials.
Desktop Metal and Stratasys: A Comparison by the Numbers
Desktop Metal’s absence from this year’s RAPID + TCT event raised a few eyebrows, with commentators linking the move to ongoing cost-cutting efforts by the firm. Total annualized savings from Desktop Metal’s expense trimming, including a reduction in headcount, are expected to be $100 million.
Desktop Metal’s most recent financial statements show that revenue for the first quarter of 2023 was $41.3M (Q1’22 $43.7M). Revenue is down 5.5% year on year and shows a sequential fall of 13.7% from Q4’22 $60.6M.
Desktop Metal posted a Q1’23 Operating Loss of $52.3M, a 24.7% Y/Y improvement on the $69.5M reported in Q1’22.
The company has forecasted revenue expectations of between $210M to $260M for 2023 and expects reached adjusted EBITDA breakeven before the end of 2023.
For comparison, Stratasys’ financial results for Q1’23 record revenue of $149.4M (Q1’22 $163.4M), down 8.6% Y/Y. This was a 6.3% sequential decrease from Q4’22 of $159.4M. For Q1’23, Stratasys’ Operating Loss was -$16.8M, an improvement of 14.3% on the -$19.6M Q1’22 figure.
Stratasys 2023 revenue guidance ranges from $630M to $670M.
A combined business entity would be expected to unlock value via a further reduction in operating costs, given the likelihood of duplicated functions. Furthermore, economies of scale would confer advantages. Long-term, adding metal 3D printers to the Stratasys portfolio will allow the company not only to compete but expand. Stratasys polymer 3D printers have an established presence in key vertices of medical, aerospace, and automotive – bringing Stratasys branding metal systems into these spaces must be appealing for the company.
UPDATE 3: Deal rationale of Stratasys and Desktop Metal Merger Published
Stratasys has published the rationale for the Desktop Metal acquisition.
Six areas are highlighted, scale, product portfolio, innovation and expertise, distribution/sales network, synergistic benefits, and the financial advantages of the merger.
The first AM company to achieve comprehensive scale
Leading Polymer and Metal player
Targeting $1.1B in revenue by 2025
Superior multi-AM technology portfolio (HW / Material / SW / Service)
Largest materials and SW platform
+50% of revenue from mass production solutions – one of the fastest growing segments in AM
Innovation and expertise
Substantial combined R&D team and patent portfolio – 800+ scientists and engineers
3,400+ patents granted and pending driving innovation across a differentiated materials library
One of the largest global go-to-market networks in 3D printing
Creates significant cross-sell potential for recognizable brands
First in class customer support capabilities
~$50M in additional run-rate cost synergies(1)
~$50M in expected run-rate revenue synergies
Scaled and profitable pro forma entity
Targeting 10%-12% adjusted EBITDA margin in 2025
Well-capitalized to drive future growth. Together, the companies had ~$437M(2) of cash as of 1Q 2023
For stakeholders, the combination of Stratasys and Desktop Metal will deliver the following benefits, according to the company:
- Significant opportunity to capture the value of AM for mass production
- Expected to achieve ~$50 million in additional annual run-rate cost synergies by 2025
- Expected to achieve ~$50 million in annual run-rate revenue synergies by 2025
- Double-digit growth
- Targeting $1.1 billion in revenue and 10%-12% in adjusted EBITDA margin in 2025
- Well-capitalized company
- Full end to end solutions by vertical
- Receive superior value (cost, quality, reliability)
- Best customer support in the industry
- Access to innovation (800+ scientists / engineers)
- Unique technologies that transform customers’ business
- Exposure to the broadest and most innovative technologies in AM
- Expanded opportunities
- Shared values of commitment to innovation and customer success
UPDATE 4: Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop and Stratasys CEO Dr. Yoav Zeif, comment on merger
“Today is an important day in Stratasys’ evolution,” said Dr. Yoav Zeif, CEO of Stratasys. “The combination with Desktop Metal will accelerate our growth trajectory by uniting two leaders to create a premier global provider of industrial additive manufacturing solutions. With attractive positions across complementary product offerings, including aerospace, automotive, consumer products, healthcare and dental, as well as one of the largest and most experienced R&D teams, industry-leading go-to-market infrastructure and a robust balance sheet, the combined company will be committed to delivering ongoing innovation while providing outstanding service to customers. We look forward to building on the complementary strengths of the combined business and leveraging the strong brand equity across the portfolio to deliver enhanced value to shareholders, customers and employees.”
“We believe this is a landmark moment for the additive manufacturing industry,” said Ric Fulop, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Desktop Metal. “The combination of these two great companies marks a turning point in driving the next phase of additive manufacturing for mass production. We are excited to complement our portfolio of production metal, sand, ceramic and dental 3D printing solutions with Stratasys’ polymer offerings. Together, we will strive to build an even more resilient offering with a diversified customer base across industries and applications in order to drive long-term sustainable growth. We look forward to combining with Stratasys to deliver profitability while driving further innovation for a larger customer base and providing expanded opportunities for our employees.”
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Featured image from 2020 following the conclusion of its merger with Trine, Desktop Metal became a publically listed company on the NYSE. Photo via Desktop Metal.