Stratasys announced they've merged with the largest remaining large commercial 3D printer manufacturer, Objet of Israel, creating the now-largest 3D printing company with a market capitalization of USD$1.4B.
The newly merged company was created by merging stock such that Stratasys shareholders will own 55 percent and Objet shareholders 45 percent. The new company retains the Stratasys name, unfortunately missing out on the exciting "Stratajet" and avoiding the questionable "Objasys".
It's not a takeover by Stratasys; management is merging right up to the top. Stratasys CEO Scott Crump moves to Chairman, while Objet's CEO David Reis becomes CEO of the new Stratasys. A new board of directors will be composed of selections made by both original companies. The merger activities themselves will be overseen by an executive committee led by Objet chair Elchanan Jaglom. Even the company's headquarters will be shared between Eden Prairie MN and Rehovot, Israel.
It's rumored that Objet had been planning to offer shares publicly in an IPO, but evidently Stratasys' offer to merge provided more return to Objet shareholders.
We had been wondering what might happen to Objet after 3D Systems' recent acquisition of ZCorp, which put the industry on notice that major consolidation was underway. Objet was a big target, with its interesting technology and large size. Was 3D Systems was interested in acquiring Objet? With their recent pattern of acquisitions, probably. However, in this case Stratasys prevailed and now is the largest 3D printing manufacturer in the world today.
Technically, Objet offers its unique PolyJet technology, which enables multiple materials to be printed in a single print operation. For example, you could print an item with hard and soft parts. This could be a very interesting addition to Stratasys' digital manufacturing operations.