The takeover of SLM Solutions has fallen through after General Electric agreed a $599 million deal to buy fellow German metal 3D printing company, Concept Laser.
A deal between GE and SLM had been proposed for a complete takeover of the 3D printing manufacturer, but the GE Group did not meet the terms before the acceptance period expired on October 24th.
Instead US conglomerate, GE, decided to place their investment with Lichtenfels-based, Concept Laser, initially purchasing 75% of its shares.
They had published a takeover offer for SLM on September 26th 2016, but activist investor Elliot Advisors, who have a 20% stake in SLM, rejected the bid making it harder for GE to reach the 75% minimum acceptance threshold.
Rather, GE swiftly purchased a majority stake in Concept Laser, with a view to take complete control in the next few years.
GE has so far spent $1.5 billion on additive technology research and will invest significantly in Lichtenfels which will become a new German centre for the group. Co-founder Frank Herzog will stay on as Chief Executive.
Meanwhile SLM’s CEO Dr. Markus Rechlin expressed his disappointment in the failed takeover attempt.
He said: “Being part of the GE Group would have given us the opportunity to accelerate on our growth track. GE had made serious and credible commitments to expand our locations and distribution network.
“In our view, a successful offer would not only have been in the interest of GE but also in the interest of our company, our employees and our shareholders.”
The Management and Supervisory boards had unanimously recommended the offer be accepted. As such, SLM is still looking to pursue its strategy of further developing itself into an integrated system provider in the additive manufacturing area.
SLM have already teamed up with Austrian company, CADS GmbH and had already founded a company for the development of specialist software for the design and construction requirements of selective laser melting in February 2016. With 3D Metal Powder GmbH being formed, together with the main shareholder of TLS Spezialpulver in July, their plan is to advance the development of metallic powders and produce 100 tonnes of aluminium powder per year.
Uwe Bögershausen, CFO of SLM, believes the company has proved its worth in the industry, though the failed takeover has brought about some ambiguity within the AM market.
He said: “We have shown in the past that SLM Solution in its current independent structure is well positioned – especially with the technology we have developed and the strategy we are pursuing.
“However, the takeover offer and its course have caused increased uncertainty in the market for additive manufacturing and for our customers and employees.”
Despite the uncertainty, SLM are still confident the performance indicators revenue and adjusted EBITDA can still be achieved.