Desktop Metal, Inc. one of the first companies to target high-productivity for its metal AM technology, will become a publicly listed company. The stated goals for listing Desktop Metal on NYSE are to accelerate its growth trajectory within the rapidly growing additive manufacturing market and capitalize on the strong secular tailwinds supporting the reshoring of manufacturing and supply chain flexibility.
This could also mark the beginning of a new era for AM. The first AM companies to go public were Stratasys and 3D Systems in 2011, which were both primarily specializing in advanced rapid prototyping. In 2013 two companies targeting tool production by AM (ExOne and voxeljet) were next. With Materialise, the first pure-play AM service to go public, provider following in 2014. After a very positive run, most pure-play AM companies have been mostly struggling on the stock market failing to achieve the promise of mass digital production and scalability. Other AM firms have entered the market but with some significant success but are mostly part of large groups (GE, HP, Siemens). You follow the past decade of ups and downs on AM industry stocks roller coaster in 3dpbm‘s 3D Printing Stocks Watch section.
Inflection point within sight
Now Desktop Metal could open the season of publicly listed pure-play AM production firms, bringing a positive backlash on the industry as a whole. The Boston unicorn has signed a definitive business combination agreement with Trine Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: TRNE), a special purpose acquisition company led by Leo Hindery, Jr., and HPS Investment Partners, a global credit investment firm with over $60 billion in assets under management. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined operating company will be named Desktop Metal, Inc. and will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol “DM.”
“We are at a major inflection point in the adoption of additive manufacturing, and Desktop Metal is leading the way in this transformation,” said Co-founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Desktop Metal, Ric Fulop. “Our solutions are designed for both massive throughput and ease of use, enabling organizations of all sizes to make parts faster, more cost-effectively, and with higher levels of complexity and sustainability than ever before. We are energized to make our debut as a publicly-traded company and begin our partnership with Trine, which will provide the resources to accelerate our go-to-market efforts and enhance our relentless efforts in R&D.”
Mr. Fulop is a serial entrepreneur involved in several growing AM initiatives. You can learn more about Mr. Fulop’s vision for AM in part production in 3dpbm’s exclusive interview on location at the company’s headquarters in 2019.
The additive manufacturing industry grew at a 20 percent annual compound rate between 2006 and 2016 before accelerating to 25 percent compound annual growth over the last 3 years, a rate that is expected to continue over the next decade as the market surges from $12 billion in 2019 to an estimated $146 billion in 2030. This market inflection is being driven by a shift in applications from design prototyping and tooling to mass production of end-use parts, enabled by the emergence of what Desktop Metal refers to as “Additive Manufacturing 2.0,” a wave of next-generation additive manufacturing technologies that unlock throughput, repeatability, and competitive part costs. These solutions feature key innovations across printers, materials, and software and pull additive manufacturing into direct competition with conventional processes used to manufacture $12 trillion in goods annually.
Desktop Metal’s cash on hand after giving effect to the transaction will enable the Company to capitalize on its position at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing 2.0 by accelerating the Company’s rapid growth and product development efforts. The Company will also use the proceeds to support constructive consolidation in the additive manufacturing industry.
Metals and composites production
Led by an experienced team with deep operational and scientific pedigree, Desktop Metal has distribution in more than 60 countries around the world and broad adoption from leading companies spanning array of industries, including automotive, consumer products, industrial automation, medical devices, and aerospace & defense.
Desktop Metal is ready to rapidly deploy its full suite of additive manufacturing solutions to existing and new customers on a global basis. The Company’s broad product portfolio includes the Studio SystemTM, an office-friendly metal 3D printing system for low volume production, which has been shipping in volume for more than a year, as well as the new Shop SystemTM for mid-volume manufacturing and its continuous fiber composite printer, FiberTM, both of which are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Company’s Production SystemTM, which has begun shipping to early customers and is expected to ship in volume in the second half of 2021, is designed to be the fastest way to 3D print metal parts at-scale, achieving print speeds up to 100x faster than legacy technologies and delivering thousands of parts per day at costs competitive with traditional manufacturing.
Leo Hindery, Jr., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of TRNE added, “After evaluating more than 100 companies, we identified Desktop Metal as the most unique and compelling opportunity, a company that we believe is primed to be the leader in a rapidly growing industry thanks to their substantial technology moat, deep customer relationships across diverse end- markets, and impressive, recurring unit economics. Ric has put together an exceptional team and board of directors with whom we are excited to partner to create the only publicly traded pure-play Additive Manufacturing 2.0 company.”
Tom Wasserman, Director of TRNE and Managing Director of HPS Investment Partners added, “We are thrilled to partner with Ric and Desktop Metal to help the Company achieve its goals and capture the massive Additive Manufacturing 2.0 opportunity. Thanks to its tremendous team, we believe Desktop Metal has incredible potential for future growth, which will only be accelerated by the extensive financial resources provided by this transaction.”
Pursuant to the transaction, TRNE, which currently holds $300 million in cash in trust, will combine with Desktop Metal at an estimated $2.5 billion pro forma equity value. Assuming no redemptions by TRNE’s existing public stockholders, Desktop Metal’s existing shareholders will hold approximately 74 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock immediately following the closing of the business combination.
Cash proceeds in connection with the transaction will be funded through a combination of TRNE’s cash in trust and a $275 million fully committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share, including investments from funds and affiliates of Miller Value Partners, XN, Baron Capital Group, Chamath Palihapitiya, JB Straubel, and HPS Investment Partners.
The boards of directors of both Desktop Metal and TRNE have unanimously approved the proposed transaction. Completion of the proposed transaction is subject to approval of Trine and Desktop Metal stockholders and other closing conditions, including a registration statement being declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Additional information about the proposed transaction, including a copy of the merger agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by TRNE today with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov.
Credit Suisse is serving as the exclusive capital markets advisor to Desktop Metal and as sole private placement agent to TRNE. BTIG, LLC is serving as a financial and capital markets advisor to TRNE. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Desktop Metal, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal advisor to TRNE. ICR is serving as investor relations and communications advisor to Desktop Metal.