Acquisitions & PartnershipsAM Industry

Next wave of AM growth in the works as Stratasys acquires Origin

This time the target is mass production

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AM hardware market leader Stratasys signed an agreement to acquire 3D printing start-up Origin Inc. in a transaction for total consideration of up to $100 million, including cash and stock. The merger enables Stratasys to expand its leadership through innovation in the fast-growing mass production parts segment with a next-generation photopolymer platform. Subject to various approvals and other closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in January 2021.

When the AM market lived through its most recent growth bubble”, then market leaders Stratasys and 3D Systems ventured in “shopping sprees” of mergers and takeovers as the new AM industry started to take form. What has come to be considered a bubble, in light of peaking stock prices, was, in fact, a natural phase of growth, accurately described in Gartner’s new technology growth curve. While stock prices did go down dramatically, revenues for both companies remained rather stable (although not growing as fast as Wall Street had hoped). The stock value of Stratasys and 3D Systems is still significantly down fro the 2013-2014 peaks, however, it is once again on the upward trend. While other companies that did not experience the same inflation are now experiencing their peaks.

Stratasys expects Origin’s proprietary Programmable PhotoPolymerization (P3) technology to be an important growth engine for the company, adding up to $200 million incremental annual revenue within five years. The acquisition will help fortify Stratasys’ leadership position in polymers and production applications of 3D printing in industries such as dental, medical, tooling, and select industrial, defense, and consumer goods segments.

“We partnered and developed materials with Origin before Origin One was launched because we believed in their technology and vision for the future of photopolymers in additive manufacturing”François Minec, Managing Director at BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH Stratasys acquires Origin

Under the terms of the agreement, the total consideration for the transaction is comprised of $60 million paid on closing ($6 million of which is subject to the founders’ retention over 3 years) and $40 million that is subject to performance-based earnouts over 3 years. The acquisition will be paid using a combination of stock of approximately $45 million and cash of approximately $55 million at closing and throughout the earnout period. Approximately $32 million of the cash expenditure will be at closing. The acquisition is expected to accelerate Stratasys’ growth rate and be slightly dilutive to non-GAAP earnings per share in 2021, and accretive to Stratasys’ non-GAAP earnings per share by 2023. The Origin team will join Stratasys and lead the development of its technology and product platform, with a full global launch via the Stratasys go-to-market organization towards mid-2021.

“Our customers are looking for additive manufacturing solutions that enable use of industrial-grade resins for mass production parts with process and quality control,” said Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif. “We believe Origin’s software-driven Origin One system is the best in the industry by combining high throughput with incredible accuracy. When combined with Origin’s extensive materials ecosystem and our industry-leading go-to-market capabilities, we believe we will be able to capture a wide range of in-demand production applications on a global scale. Together with our intended entry into powder bed fusion technology, the acquisition of Origin reflects another step in fulfilling our objective to lead in polymer additive manufacturing by offering comprehensive, best-in-class technologies and solutions to create a fully digital additive value chain, designed for Industry 4.0 integration.”

According to an internal Stratasys market analysis, manufacturing applications show the most potential for significant growth in the 3D printing industry, reaching approximately $25 billion by 2025. Stratasys anticipates that production-oriented resin-based solutions can address a significant part of the total market for polymer additive manufacturing. In fact, it is estimated that resin polymer-based additive systems will grow at a 20% annual rate from 2020 to 2025.

Origin’s P3 technology, an advancement on Digital Light Processing (DLP) principles, cures liquid photopolymer resin with light. The company’s first manufacturing-grade 3D printer, Origin One, precisely controls light, heat, and force, among other parameters, via Origin’s closed-loop feedback software. This new technology enables customers to build parts with industry-leading accuracy, consistency, size and detail, while using a wide range of commercial-grade, durable resins.

Origin works with a network of material partners such as Henkel, BASF and DSM to develop resins for its system. “We partnered and developed materials with Origin before Origin One was launched because we believed in their technology and vision for the future of photopolymers in additive manufacturing,” said François Minec, Managing Director at BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH. “Now, as part of Stratasys, we’re confident that together we can take on the broader manufacturing ecosystem.”

Origin One systems have been successfully deployed across a variety of industries, including shoe manufacturer ECCO. “We’re pleased to continue our cooperation with the Origin team as an exclusive partner within the area of the footwear industry categorized as Direct Injection Production, now also by leveraging Stratasys’ global infrastructure,” said Jakob Møller Hansen, Vice President Research & Development, ECCO.

The COVID-19 pandemic further illustrated Origin’s technology fit for production applications, including hundreds of thousands of clinically validated nasopharyngeal swabs, thousands of PPE face shields, and ventilator splitters for hospitals.

“We founded Origin to create a whole new additive manufacturing platform that enables mass production of end-use parts with incredible accuracy, consistency, and throughput along with a wide range of available materials,” said Origin CEO and co-founder Christopher Prucha. “Stratasys is the best company for us to join to achieve our vision, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to significantly expand market reach and enable us to bring our P3 technology to a larger audience.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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