Covestro has completed its acquisition of DSM’s Resins & Functional Materials, including the Additive Manufacturing business.
The acquisition was first announced in the autumn. It was a deal that just kept getting bigger; Covestro was keen to bring in parts of DSM’s materials portfolio, especially with sustainable coating resins. Eventually, though, the entire Resins & Functional Materials (RFM) business was brought into the deal — including the Additive Manufacturing segment.
“They acquired us because of our strong position in the market. We’ll be joining forces, there will be more technologies, more people, more investment. Covestro is 100% a materials science company, and I think that’s very exciting actually. It’s good news in general for all of us,” Hugo da Silva, VP of DSM Additive Manufacturing Business Unit, told us from an inside look at the Covestro x DSM move.
“They want to be stronger in 3D printing. They know that to grow their business would be very complex; many major players are already taking big steps for some time, they are late in the game. We [the AM business segment] were not the center of the attention, but there was the opportunity to put us in the deal, so they put us in the discussion. We talked about how to bring value to the market and to our customers. We are much bigger than they are, so it’s also more like we have a larger new investor than being inquired, this large new investor helping to grow the team further.”
And here we are now on the other side. The acquisition formally closed April 1, 2021, following regulatory approvals.
While, again, our focus is on the additive manufacturing implications here, we can’t ignore the bigger picture; this was a big, biv move on Covestro’s part. The release explains:
“The integration of RFM will expand the Group’s revenues by around EUR 1 billion and will add more than 20 sites to its global production network.”
And also notes:
“With the transaction, Covestro is expanding its business in several areas. The Group is already one of the leading global providers of water-based polyurethane dispersions. The acquisition of RFM adds a complete range of water-based polyacrylate resins, as well as strong brands in terms of sustainability such as Niaga, solutions for additive manufacturing, and an advanced solar coatings business. In addition, Covestro is enhancing its technology portfolio to include water-based hybrid technologies, powder coating resins as well as radiation curing resins.”
So, yes, ultimately the 3D printing aspect is one of the many pieces of this acquisition puzzle. Certainly though it’s not one to overlook. The formerly-DSM-now-Covestro team integrating into existing Covestro 3D printing activities brings a huge amount of expertise along with the materials portfolio.
The large footprint of Covestro across a variety of verticals will also offer more market opportunities for the expanded 3D printing portfolio.
“They are very well connected in many markets that are a focus for us like the transportation market, especially automotive, as well as sports and lifestyle, footwear, and construction,” da Silva noted in our earlier conversation.
From the Covestro perspective, Chief Commercial Officer Sucheta Govil explains in the release:
“With this transaction, we are strengthening our extensive portfolio with further innovative products and technologies that will enable us to meet our customers’ needs in optimal fashion. Now our focus is on integrating the teams, leveraging talent and providing the best possible support for our new and existing customers.”
The integration of these two teams and portfolios is overall a very good thing for the additive manufacturing industry. As market consolidation picks up this year, we see signs of maturity in the moves being made — and many of these moves are focusing on the production-focused future of 3D printing.