As our new CEO David Reis has stated, the merger of Stratasys Inc with Objet Ltd. is a merger of equals. It is not a merger of two weak 3D printing companies, nor is it a merger of one strong and one weak company. It is a merger of two strong companies. It is the company’s position that the joining of Stratasys and Objet is a growth merger. The merger was not done to wring costs from the companies, i.e. cut positions. In fact, the new entity, Stratasys Ltd., expects to add a fair number of positions in 2013.
I was curious what additive manufacturing industry experts thought about the merging of the two companies, so I asked a few for their opinion. Following are the thoughts of Tim Shinbara, Graham Tromans, Terry Wohlers, and Todd Grimm.
Tim Shinbara, Technical Director, Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)
“Many AMT members are closely following additive manufacturing. I see Stratasys and Objet as two strong players in the additive process world, coming together to improve their offerings. There will be challenges, but the synergy of having both companies under one roof is worth finding the solution. Any time we see foreign investment in the US it’s a good thing.”
Graham Tromans, Principal Consultant and President, GP Tromans Associates
“I think the merger between Stratasys and Objet can only be good for the industry. It strengthens both companies in the market. Both technologies complement each other, each having niche applications. The merger gives the new company the financial strength to move forward with research and development to advance the technologies. It also provides a great opportunity for channel partners to offer both technologies to suit customer-specific requirements by offering a unique portfolio of products.”
Terry Wohlers, President, Wohlers Associates
“This merger means taking two very different but solid companies and producing an even stronger organization. There’s strength in numbers, so I expect the companies can do better together than they could individually with R&D, production, marketing, sales, and distribution. They will have to merge two different cultures, but I believe the management is determined to succeed in every facet of the merger.”
Todd Grimm, President, TA Grimm & Associates
“In my mind, the merged company is going to benefit tremendously, and I don’t see any downsides. Stratasys intends to continue heavy investment in R&D for both the FDM and the Inkjet-based product lines. So I expect to see both technologies continue to progress. The two technologies are so different and complementary, they can peacefully coexist in a customer’s lab. The merging partners have history on their side to prove this to be true because their previous distribution relationship was extremely successful. The answer to how well this merger works is how fast and how painlessly the sales channels are integrated.”