Stratasys, merger, acquisition, market, industry, innovation, kickstarter3D printer maker Stratasys Inc. (Nasdaq: SSYS) plans to raise more than $400 million in a public offering.

The company has filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue four million shares, and will grant the underwriters an over-allotments option to buy up to 600,000 shares. At Monday's closing price of $105.22, the offering will raise a gross amount $409 million, and if the underwriters exercise their options in full, the amount will increase to $471 million.

Stratasys will use the proceeds for several business purposes, including acquisitions, capital expenses, and working capital.

Stratasys’ move provides further evidence that the 3D Printing industry is exploding with innovation. As new methods and materials are being developed across the globe, industry giants are snapping them up at a blistering pace.

While mergers and acquisitions profit entrepreneurs and their new parent companies, are they helping the end user?

It seems to me that the argument saying, “companies like 3DSystems and Stratasys can better distribute products and innovation” isn’t accurate in the low end of the market. With innovative 3D printing systems being marketed directly to customers via Kickstarter, Indiegogo etc. do we really need a hulking middleman to provide the newest systems?

While the standardization and distribution that larger companies can provide does deliver value for commercial customers of larger systems, for simpler consumer machines I’m not so sure all of these mergers and buyouts are healthy for our industry.

Image Courtesy of NASDAQ

 

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