Bre Pettis MakerBotMakerBot CEO Bre Pettis has declined to comment on the rumoured acquisition.
Speculation as to who has approached New York-based 3D printing company MakerBot with an alleged acquisition deal is continuing to mount.
There are some big names emerging as potential candidates for the buy-out, which was reported in the Wall Street Journal last week, with Amazon, Stratasys, Autodesk and 3D Systems appearing in various articles online.
3D Systems is an educated guess if the acquisition deal is going ahead, as the company has previous form for buying out major companies on the 3D printing scene and assimilating their products and services into the 3D Systems family. The industry juggernaut has cut significant deals with the likes of Z Corp and Geomagic in the last two-and-a-half years, which has helped boost its value as a company.
Autodesk, the 3D printing software giant, is also a potential buyer as the company has been working with MakerBot throughout the year. In March, MakerBot reported that both companies would be teaming up to benefit from and develop each other's technologies. This update was then followed by a blog in May in which MakerBot stated that it would be sharing a space with Autodesk at the Maker Faire.
This weekend, Tech Crunch reported that the Brooklyn-headquartered company - which opened a new facility on Friday - is in talks with Stratasys about a potential buy-out. Stratasys, like 3D Systems, has completed some successful high-profile acquisitions and most notably took over Objet in April 2012. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MakerBot Bre Pettis declined to comment, but Tech Crunch's article has been picked up by numerous other news sites, as Stratasys is not exactly an underdog when it comes to major 3D printing industry business deals.
Finally, Amazon is being rumoured as a potential buyer, as the company's CEO Jeff Bezos is a major investor in MakerBot already. The Wall Street Journal report that started this frenzied gossiping stated that Bezos "may end up raising more venture capital to continue building its business instead of cashing out", but speculators wonder if the Amazon boss has bigger plans for MakerBot. One Motley Fool article even says it would put $10 million (£6.4 million, €7.5 million) on Amazon buying MakerBot.
There have been other companies whispered here and there, but these four appear to be the most likely candidates if this deal is even taking place. But the 3D printing industry is known for surprising even those believed to be at the heart of the action, so maybe the mystery buyer will come out of the blue?