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Proto Labs HQ
Proto Labs has not put 3D printing investment in its plans for growth.
Proto Labs has announced its intentions to move into the additive manufacturing service bureau arena by announcing the acquisition of FineLine Prototyping for $38 million.
The addition of an additive manufacturing service bureau to the online and technology-enabled rapid prototyping market leader's offering will expand Proto Labs' business to address a broader range of product developers' needs.
From concept models to form and fit testing, to functional testing and short production runs, Proto Labs has boasted that it now has the capability to supply one of the broadest ranges of quick-turn custom parts efficiently and consistently.
Its choice to acquire North Carolina-based FineLine is an astute strategic move. The addition of an additive manufacturing service is complementary to Proto Labs' existing CNC machining and injection moulding offerings.
What's more, historically, 70 per cent of Proto Labs' customers also use an additive manufacturing service in their product development process. Proto Labs will announce its new additive manufacturing service to its substantial database of over 300,000 product developers to leverage the inherent synergy this new service provides.
Vicki Holt, Proto Labs President and CEO, commented: "We are excited to launch our new additive manufacturing service. The FineLine acquisition is the first step in building this new service. We will look to expand our additive manufacturing capabilities in the US, as well as globally, through both organic growth and potential new acquisitions. Our customers have been asking us to provide additive manufacturing services for quite some time and now we can address that need. We're accepting orders starting today."
FineLine, which is headquartered in Raleigh, offers stereolithography, direct metal laser sintering and selective laser sintering services to industrial and business customers from a range of industries including key growth sectors aerospace and medical, as well as electronics, consumer products and industrial machinery.
FineLine has an outstanding reputation for delivering high quality, precise rapid-prototype parts, ranging from small, highly detailed parts to large patterns.
FineLine generated revenues of approximately $9.7 million (€7 million, £5.7 million) in 2013. Under terms of the agreement, Proto Labs will acquire FineLine for total consideration of $38 million. Proto Labs will continue to operate the FineLine facility out of Raleigh and expects to retain the services of all key employees, including FineLine principals Rob Connelly and Craig Goff to lead the global additive manufacturing services. Proto Labs expects the acquisition of FineLine to be accretive to Proto Labs earnings per share by the quarter four of this year.