The Stratasys shareholder vote approaches, leaving the merger between Desktop Metal in a precarious position.


This past week has seen some significant developments in the ongoing Stratasys acquisition saga. As we have previously reported, Stratasys, the largest player in the 3D print space, announced a merger agreement with Desktop Metal. However, rival 3D printer manufacturer Nano Dimension launched a series of bids to take over Stratasys before the merger could take place. This was likely due to the fact that Nano Dimension would not be able to afford to buy the larger merged company after the merger.

Despite rejecting all of Nano Dimension’s bids, Stratasys found itself facing another challenger as 3D Systems, the other major player in the 3D print space, entered the battle with takeover bids of their own. These too were rejected, until the most recent offer about a month ago. Both parties then went into a period of silence as they evaluated the proposal. This week, Stratasys officially rejected the offer from 3D Systems, citing the sharp increase in Stratasys’ value compared to the substantial decrease in 3D Systems’ value, making their offer less attractive.

Meanwhile, the Desktop Metal merger agreement is still in force, with a vote by Stratasys shareholders scheduled for September 28. Stratasys has issued a press release strongly urging shareholders to accept the merger agreement, and the outcome of the vote will determine whether the merger proceeds or not.

In an interesting turn of events, 3D Systems has submitted yet another offer to Stratasys. This offer is binding, meaning that Stratasys only needs to sign it to accept it. The offer is set to expire five days after the Desktop Metal merger shareholder vote. This means that Stratasys executives will have time to consider the deal should the vote fail. However, if the vote is successful, the offer from 3D Systems becomes irrelevant.

Nano Dimension, a major shareholder in Stratasys, has issued a strong message urging other shareholders to reject the Desktop Metal merger proposal. They have also announced that they will be voting against the proposal with their 14.5% of Stratasys shares. Both Nano Dimension and 3D Systems seem determined to see the Desktop Metal deal fail. This may be due to the fact that if the merger goes through, the resulting company will be much larger, making it unaffordable for these potential acquirers in the future.

There may be other factors at play as well. For example, the recent announcement from Align, one of 3D Systems’ major customers, that they will be considering other 3D printing systems could impact 3D Systems’ future revenue. Acquiring Stratasys could diversify their earnings going forward. On the other hand, Stratasys might have a different position in negotiating with customers as a larger merged company. In fact, they could become the buyers instead of the bought.

There is a possibility that if 3D Systems, Stratasys, and Desktop Metal were somehow put together, there could be significant annual savings of up to US$100M. This might be the ultimate outcome of this ongoing corporate battle.

It’s clear that the Stratasys acquisition saga is far from over. The outcome of the vote by shareholders on September 28 will be pivotal in determining the future of the company. Whether it is through a merger with Desktop Metal or another major player in the 3D print space, Stratasys seems poised to shape the industry in significant ways.

Original source


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