The CEO of Nano Dimension is publishing daily videos talking about their proposed Stratasys acquisition.
A week ago Nano Dimension proposed a surprise takeover of long-time industry player Stratasys. Stratasys was one of the original two commercializations of 3D printing, with their founder, Scott Crump, having invented the FFF process.
While Nano Dimension already owns 14.5% of Stratasys shares, the acquisition proposed buying the remainder using Nano Dimension’s cash hoard of US$1.1B. For Stratasys shareholders who must make the decision on whether to sell, the offer is a premium over current value, but the same or less than the company was valued only months ago.
Most observers dismissed the deal, and indeed yesterday the Stratasys board issued the following statement:
“Its Board of Directors has unanimously rejected the unsolicited proposal it received from Nano Dimension Ltd. to acquire Stratasys for $18.00 per share in cash.”
“Stratasys’ Board and management team are confident that the Company’s standalone plan will create significantly greater value for its shareholders than the Nano proposal.”
It seems that Nano Dimension CEO Yoav Stern anticipated this rejection by Stratasys management, and will almost certainly reach out to individual Stratasys shareholders for share purchases in spite of the board’s announcement.
Nano Dimension has been undergoing considerable corporate turmoil as their shareholders are very concerned about the use of the company’s cash reserve. Few seem to believe in Nano Dimension’s management strategy, and apparently several board members were recently removed, likely triggered by the controversy.
Meanwhile, Stern has been attempting to persuade everyone that the proposed deal makes sense by issuing almost daily videos discussing the matter. These are fascinating to watch, as they provide a deep look into Stern’s thoughts, but also are very divergent from how acquisitions are normally handled.
It’s not quite clear exactly to whom Stern is targeting these videos.
They seem quite antagonistic to existing Stratasys management, as Stern frequently points out alleged mismanagement. Some of his statements are quite aggressive and getting dangerously close to pro wrestling promo level:
“So sir, you want to talk to me? You want to take away things that belong to the public that I’m defending? Come face me. Don’t hide behind sarfatis, young people that are being paid by you to be in front of lawyers and all kinds of litigators. Come front, come up front. Let’s talk.”
He attempts to counter industry analysts that have dismissed the deal. Could he be trying to justify the acquisition strategy to Nano Dimension shareholders? Perhaps he believes Stratasys shareholders will be persuaded that he will be able to provide good leadership for the combined operations?
I’m not sure these videos are helping Nano Dimension, but they are certainly interesting to follow.