Israeli 3D printer company Objet announced yesterday that it will merge with its American counterpart Stratasys. The merger will create a 3D printing giant with an equity value of approximately $1.4 billion.
The new company will operate under the name Stratasys Ltd. and will have dual headquarters in Minnesota, and Rehovot, Israel.
Both Objet and Stratasys develop and manufacture 3D printers, which are mainly used to produce prototypes of products in a range of industries. Following the deal, Objet will be valued at $630 million.
“We are excited to be joining forces with Stratasys,” said David Reis, the company’s CEO. “This transaction creates an organization that will provide a broad range of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing applications to our customers, and the ability to bring exciting new products to the market.”
Since it was founded 14 years ago, Objet became one of the world’s leaders in the 3D printers market. This niche of three dimensional printers serves primarily industrial companies that operate production lines. During the process, the printer applies a layer of polymer made out of plastic or metal which after a few hours creates fully-functional, flexible and accurate prototypes.
Objet’s holds a range of over 60 3D printing materials which have been adopted by manufacturers in many fields, including automotive, electronics, toys, consumer goods, jewelry and footwear.
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Avoiding re-production costs
The price of such a printer starts at $10,000 and can reach up to $400,000. Adidas, Apple and General Motors use these printers to quickly create a prototype of a model or a spare part before production, in order to avoid mistakes during production or after it, thus saving the cost of re-production.
According to sources in the industry, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs used Objet’s prototypes when he was wondering about the design of the iPhone, so did James Cameron in his blockbuster movie “Avatar.”
The company was founded in 1998 by Rami Bonen, Gershon Miller and Hanan Gotaiit. Today Objet employs approximately 300 people at its headquarters in Rehovot, Israel. The company also has offices near Boston and in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Rheinmünster and Gurgaon, India.
According to research site IVC, it received about $28M from a long list of largely anonymous investors, including their key investor Elan Jaglom (35%), TDA foundation and Leon Recanati.
According to assessments, Objet’s annual revenue stands at $120-$150 million, and has been profitable for many years. According to IBIS world, the global 3D printer market totaled $1.4 billion in 2011, and is set to double by 2016.
Photos courtesy of Objet