After publishing our story “A Most Unusual 3D Printing Corporate Takeover”, I was contacted by none other than Braydon Moreno, CEO and co-founder of Robo 3D.
To catch up, the story related how an obscure Australian mining company somehow acquired the entirety of a modern 3D printer manufacturing company. To myself and others, this corporate maneuver seemed a little unusual. Not anything untoward, however. Just unusual.
CEO and co-founder of Robo 3D Braydon Moreno reached out with some clarifications that are quite interesting. He says:
In September 2015, Robo 3D secured a US$2.5m investment from Albion 3D Investments Pty Ltd (“Albion 3D”), a private investment vehicle with ambitions to grow Robo 3D into one of the leading brands in desktop 3D printing, in return for 51% of the equity of Robo 3D.
Ok, this seems quite reasonable - an investment fund takes an interest in a leading desktop 3D printing company. Good on Robo 3D for attracting this level of major investment! Moreno continues:
Shortly thereafter, Albion 3D was approached by Falcon Minerals Ltd (“Falcon”), a minerals explorer publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) that has been unsuccessful in commercialising its assets, to undertake a “reverse listing” into Falcon, with the objective to provide its shareholders with the opportunity for a “second chance”.
Once completed, Falcon would change its name and its sole asset would be the investment in Robo 3D. The sole purpose of the acquisition of Albion 3D by Falcon was to “IPO” the 51% equity interest in Robo 3D as Albion 3D held no other assets.
Subsequent to this original deal, the existing shareholders of Robo 3D, including the founders Braydon Moreno and Coby Kabili, reached an agreement with the board of Falcon to join Albion 3D in completing the reverse listing. No shareholders of Robo 3D will be selling down equity stakes. Upon re-listing, Falcon will change its name to “Robo 3D Technologies Limited”, which will own 100% of Robo 3D.
Aha! This is what is going on: Robo 3D wished to “IPO”, meaning transform the company into a publicly traded firm on a stock market.
Why would a company take such a seemingly circuitous route to IPO? The answer is simple: it’s really difficult, time consuming and expensive to do so. There are tons of legalities to meet, fees to pay and internal reorganization to complete.
Wouldn’t it be far easier to “be acquired” by a company that’s ALREADY done all these steps and is already publicly traded?
Even better, the circumstances of Falcon meant it was more than willing to participate as its former business had been exhausted. A good deal for both - and a process some other 3D printer manufacturers might consider to “go public” very quickly.
As you rightly point out, the transaction has a number of benefits for Robo 3D: the founders and existing employees will remain in the business, they will continue to control and drive business strategy, with the added support of numerous new investors including high profile individual and funds that will provide new capital to continue growing Robo 3D.
The transaction, despite technically being labelled an “acquisition”, is effectively an IPO of Robo 3D.
This is a very exciting period in Robo 3D’s history, with the launch of the Robo C2 and the Robo R2 smart 3D printers and the imminent completion of the listing of Robo 3D on the ASX.
I hope this clarifies some of your points. Thanks for your support and all you do for shining a light on the 3D printing industry.
Thank you, Braydon!
Via Robo 3D