Who will be the buyer for voxeljet, the dream of 3D printing mergers and acquisitions?


In a groundbreaking development, voxeljet AG (Nasdaq: VJET) has revealed plans to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of its strategic options. The company, which is known as one of the only manufacturers of large-scale sand 3D printers, will be exploring a range of possibilities including mergers, investments, joint ventures, and more. Leading the review will be voxeljet’s Management Board and the Supervisory Board, with support from BNP Paribas Securities Corp as its financial advisor and Hogan Lovells International LLP as its legal counsel.

It’s important to note that there is no set timeline for this review, and there is no guarantee that any particular action or change will result from it. However, this announcement comes at a time when the 3D printing industry is experiencing significant transformations. Smaller firms within the industry have been grappling with financial challenges, creating opportunities for larger companies to explore acquisitions.

voxeljet, while representing the former, has had its fair share of financial difficulties even before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the company received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) due to its average global market capitalization falling below $50 million over a 30-day trading period. In 2020, another non-compliance notice was issued when its average closing share price dropped below $1.00 for 30 consecutive days. As a result, voxeljet made the decision to voluntarily transfer from the NYSE to the NASDAQ.

The company’s financial report for Q2 2023 showed a modest increase in revenue by 2.2%, reaching €6.8 million. However, its net loss doubled to €3.6 million. While the systems segment, focused on 3D printer development and sales, performed well with an 11.5% revenue increase, the services segment experienced an 8.7% decline, particularly in its German and Chinese service centers. These numbers paint a perilous financial situation for voxeljet in 2022.

Despite these challenges, voxeljet has continued to innovate and attract high-profile customers. In a partnership with inkjet printer head manufacturer Xaar, the company developed high-speed sintering (HSS) technology. voxeljet’s expertise in massive binder jetting machines has allowed for the demonstration of numerous high-volume applications with this process. Additionally, prominent auto companies such as General Motors, BMW, and Tesla have utilized voxeljet’s technology for sand casting parts and complex car part production.

Despite its financial setbacks, voxeljet remains a valuable company. Its ability to manufacture equipment at the scale required by large industrial clients sets it apart. However, this level of production is not easily achievable for smaller businesses. As a result, consolidation within the industry has been suggested as a means to scale the technology effectively.

In conclusion, voxeljet’s announcement of a strategic review marks an important step for the company’s future. While facing financial challenges, voxeljet’s value and potential for growth remain evident. The outcome of the review may determine the form in which the company moves forward, potentially through mergers, partnerships, or other strategic changes. As the 3D printing industry continues to evolve, voxeljet’s actions will undoubtedly shape its trajectory in the market.

The world of business is constantly evolving, with companies merging, acquiring, and forming partnerships to expand their capabilities and reach. Voxeljet, a prominent player in the binder jetting industry, has plenty of potential partners or buyers to consider. One natural fit would have seemed to be Desktop Metal, as it acquired ExOne, formerly a part of voxeljet’s predecessor company. However, Desktop Metal is currently in the midst of a possible merger with polymer 3D printing stalwart Stratasys. While it is unlikely that the combined business would immediately be able to purchase voxeljet, it would be a complementary acquisition.

In addition to Desktop Metal, there are other potential partners or buyers for voxeljet. HP and GE Additive, both manufacturers of binder jetting machines, could benefit from a voxeljet purchase. HSS, voxeljet’s technology, would allow HP to expand its Multi Jet Fusion polymer 3D printing technology. Sand 3D printing, which voxeljet specializes in, would complement GE’s metal binder jet system and serve various clients. GE Renewable, for example, is working with voxeljet to develop a larger sand 3D printer for use in wind turbine manufacturing.

Another possibility is that a purchase might occur from outside of the industry. Align Technologies and Cubicure, two companies not traditionally associated with the 3D printing industry, recently made acquisitions. Any one of voxeljet’s large customers, such as GM, BMW, or Tesla, could also acquire the company to vertically integrate the technology and prevent competitors from leveraging the advantages of massive sand 3D printing.

It’s worth considering surprising elements when speculating on potential partnerships or acquisitions. Chinese and Indian companies have been acquiring important manufacturers from the West, indicating their increasing status economically. ChemChina’s purchase of German injection molding giant KraussMaffei in 2016 and Tata Motors’ acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 are notable examples. As voxeljet reported declining Asian services in Q2 2023, it’s possible that an Asian buyer could have been waiting to bring the company in-house.

At this point in the industry, anything is possible. The landscape is constantly changing, and businesses are always looking for new opportunities and partnerships to stay competitive. While we can speculate on potential partners or buyers for voxeljet, it’s important to keep in mind that the inner workings of boardroom discussions and negotiations are difficult to predict accurately. Surprising developments, both within and outside of the industry, could shape the future of voxeljet.

When it comes to the Asian market, it becomes much more challenging to determine who would be the best buyer or partner. Depending on the specific region where Stratasys is located, there may be some possibilities to explore. In Europe and North America, companies like GE or BMW could potentially be suitable candidates, but it is difficult to make a more precise prediction at this time.

Interestingly, BNP will be taking part in the Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2024 event in New York from February 6th to 8th, 2024. One of their executives, Christian Hartenberger, who is in charge of the company’s Industrial Technology and Aerospace/Defense Investment Banking division, will be speaking on the panel titled “Printing Money: M&A and Public Markets”. It is quite possible that he will share any developments or updates regarding voxeljet, so it will be interesting to hear his insights.

To stay informed about all the latest news and updates from the 3D printing industry, as well as receive information and offers from third party vendors, make sure to stay up-to-date.

Original source


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