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The Riverside Company owns more than 75 companies in its international portfolio. The firm, which focuses on acquiring and investing in businesses, has been around since 1988 and strives to attain favorable positions in growing industries. The latest focus? Naturally, one of the fastest growing: 3D printing.

riversideToday, The Riverside Company announced that it’s adding “A New Dimension” to its portfolio, via its acquisition of Fisher/Unitech (which goes by Fisher), a company based in Troy, Michigan. With this acquisition, The Riverside Company steps in to active participation in the 3D printing workspace; Fisher has over 8,000 companies — among them leading producers in aerospace, automobile, consumer goods, and defense fields — as customers.

“3D solid modeling and additive manufacturing are increasingly being employed for a wide array of product design, prototype development and manufacturing applications,” said Riverside Partner Steve Dyke. “Fisher/Unitech is a trusted resource for a broad array of customers in numerous industries.”

Fisher is a value-added reseller in the additive manufacturing field, with 13 locations focusing on 3D solid modeling design software, 3D funtechprinting hardware, and related products and services, supporting sales across 16 US states, largely in New England and the Midwest. The company has been a Stratasys partner for 15 years, and was named North America’s leading Stratasys reseller in 2010. Fisher is also the third largest SolidWorks software distributor in the United States.

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Charlie Hess, CEO/Co-Founder, Fisher/Unitech

While the acquisition will obviously change Fisher’s ownership, the management team will not be shaken up in the move; Charlie Hess will remain CEO and Greg Fisher will retain his position as the Vice President of Technology. The two founded the company in 1993 and look forward to their new future as a part of Riverside’s portfolio.

“We’re delighted to partner with Riverside, and we look forward to accelerating our growth with the support of Riverside’s resources and expertise,” said Hess.

Specialty manufacturing and distribution (SMD) platform companies are of particular interest to Riverside’s portfolio; the company has invested in more than 80 such firms over its history. The Fisher/Unitech acquisition fits neatly into this investment strategy, as the plans for Fisher include growth strategies focusing investments in sales, marketing, and tech support.

“Our SMD team focuses on investing in many manufacturing businesses that would be target customers for Fisher/Unitech. As a result, the value Fisher provides its customers as they seek to innovate with new products was immediately recognizable to our team,” said Dyke, Riverside’s Global Head of SMD.

This acquisition should strengthen Riverside’s SMD plans at the same time that it boosts Fisher’s platform across the board. By investing in the future of a growing industry, adding Fisher to their portfolio, Riverside demonstrates a business awareness and acumen that will keep them on top. Fisher, meanwhile, will benefit from bringing its strength in the rapidly growing 3D printing industry and its ties with leading 3D printer manufacturers and service suppliers.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this acquisition in the Fisher/Unitech & The Riverside Company forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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