In an almost unbelievable announcement today, 3D Systems has apparently acquired ZCorp, one of their major competitors. In addition to ZCorp, 3D Systems also picked up Vidar, a leading manufacturer of medical film digitizers. The cost of these two simultaneous acquisitions puts a USD$137M dent into 3D Systems’ wallet, which will be refilled by a simultaneous placement of USD$152M in senior convertible notes.
With this acquisition 3D Systems gains not only ZCorp’s large market share, but also their technology. This adds to 3D Systems’ already extensive list of 3D printing processes – and associated patents. Not only was ZCorp itself profitable, but they also had a very extensive network of resellers who now could be tasked to sell the entire 3D Systems product line, boosting profits far above simply adding ZCorp’s bottom line. According to 3D Systems, the immediate synergies beyond adding company profits together could add another USD$5-10M in profit per year.
Maybe Autodesk will pick up Stratasys on the high end and Makerbot on the hobbyist side later – or just go full on services and get Shapeways with a Kinkos-style service center via TechShops.
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What percentage of IP related to 3d printing would you estimate this new entity controls?
@bryce – for on-demand color 3D printing zcorp is pretty much it, so while we don’t know what patents and trade secrets the combined company has, they may have 100% of a market for some things now (color, on demand). incredible! looks like the acquisition was only $137m for both companies too.