Stratasys To Add Jobs After $403M Acquisition

Stratasys said it will acquire MakerBot, a competitor in the 3D-printing industry; the $403 million purchase could grow based on MakerBot’s performance.

Eden Prairie-based 3D-printing company Stratasys, Ltd., said Wednesday that it has signed a deal to acquire industry competitor MakerBot in a stock transaction worth at least $403 million—and it also plans to add at least 80 jobs by the end of the year.
The announcement comes about two weeks after rumors surfaced of a possible merger.

The deal could grow to include an additional $201 million worth of stock based on Brooklyn, New York-based MakerBot reaching certain performance benchmarks.
While Stratasys builds 3D printers on a large scale for industrial use, MakerBot focuses on smaller and cheaper entry-level 3D models for individuals. CEOs of both companies discussed the acquisition during a Thursday morning press conference.
“We knew when we launched MakerBot that in order to get this out it would have to be affordable and we’re on our way to consumer adoption. It’s a professional-level machine that consumers can put on their desktop,” said MakerBot CEO Bree Pettis. “When you look at the combo here, Stratasys has this knowledge and infrastructure to support manufacturing and industrial customers. And we allow people the ability to just pull out their credit card and get one; they just go to the website and order it.”
This is Stratasys’ second major merger in about six months. In December, it merged with Israel-based 3D-printing company Objet, Ltd. After that deal, Objet CEO David Reis took over as chief executive of the post-merger company. Reis joined Pettis at Thursday’s press conference and emphasized that the MakerBot acquisition was not a cost-cutting effort.
“The story of the merger is growth, which means that like Stratasys—which will recruit from today until the end of the year 80 to 100 employees—MakerBot will continue recruiting employees,” Reis said. “Our mission is to grow the business as fast as we can and accelerate the adoption of 3D printing and 3D technology by the public, designers, and engineers.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Pettis will continue to lead the MakerBot and the company will operate as a subsidiary of Stratasys—maintaining its own identity, products, and market strategy. 
The merger is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013 but remains subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
MakerBot was founded in 2009 and has driven the accessibility and rapid adoption of desktop 3D printers. According to the company, its products are increasingly used by individual engineers, designers, architects, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs for professional purposes, as well as for personal applications.
During the first quarter of 2013, MakerBot generated $11.5 million in revenue, compared to $15.7 million for all of 2012.
Founded in 1989, Stratasys has more than 1,200 employees and, according to Reis, is expecting revenue of more than $400 million this year. Stratasys currently holds more than 500 granted or pending patents globally and has a range of over 130 3D-printing materials.
Shares of Stratasys’ stock were trading up about 1.94 percent at $86.24 during Thursday mid-day trading.
Reis described Stratasys as “a large supermarket of technologies, and now MakerBot will be able to walk into the supermarket of Stratasys and pick the elements of our infrastructure and technology which MakerBot believes will accelerate its growth.”