AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing Bureau Fast Radius Acquired by SyBridge Technologies For $15.9M

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SyBridge Technologies, an advanced manufacturing company based in Detroit, announced that, pending the approval of federal courts, it will purchase Chicago-based additive manufacturing (AM) service bureau, Fast Radius, for $15.9 million. This acquisition comes a month after Fast Radius declared it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

On its website, SyBridge Technologies describes itself as an acquirer and integrator of mold and tool companies. SyBridge was established in 2019, when Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that was started in 2004 by a retired partner at Goldman Sachs, acquired Concours Mold Inc., a provider of molds and tools for producers of plastic components — especially in the automotive sector. In January, 2020, Concours made its first acquisition, Valiant Tool and Mold Inc., following its own acquisition by Crestview Partners.

Since then, including Fast Radius, the company — rebranded as SyBridge — acquired 13 more companies, which now span seven different but interrelated divisions. According to various SyBridge Technologies press releases, Crestview committed $200 million of capital to the overall acquisition and integration strategy upon first acquiring Concours Mold Inc. in 2019.

Global headquarters of SyBridge Technologies

In a press release about SyBridge Technologies’ acquisition of Fast Radius Inc., SyBridge’s CEO, Byron J. Paul, commented, “Combining Fast Radius’ leading cloud manufacturing and artificial intelligence platform with our global design, prototyping and manufacturing network materially accelerates our vision of being a leading global industrial technology company. We will be able to support our customers throughout their product lifecycle — from product design, engineering and prototyping through tool production, supportive molding, and finally preventative maintenance and repair.” President and interim CFO of Fast Radius, Patrick McCusker, added, “Our parts and software capabilities align incredibly well with SyBridge’s global manufacturing footprint and prototyping capabilities.”

Also according to the press release, SyBridge Technologies plans for the acquisition to be finalized before year-end, with a goal of offering jobs to “a majority” of Fast Radius’s current workforce. And, notably, SyBridge plans for Fast Radius to continue to operate under its existing name.

Given its potential for integration with all of SyBridge’s other divisions, SyBridge has acquired Fast Radius at quite a bargain. If SyBridge had set out to start its own standalone rapid prototyping AM services division from scratch, the company would presumably have to invest considerably more than $16 million over a number of years, with relatively high probability of failure.

Instead, for $15.9 million, SyBridge has acquired a proven asset that can not only deliver for all of its other divisions, but can and already does provide services for outside clients, as well. Fast Radius’ declaring for bankruptcy at this particular time likely has more to do with macro financial conditions than it does with the company’s lack of potential. The story for companies in the sector as a whole is less about the bankruptcy, and more about the fact that the company in the process of declaring bankruptcy was acquired barely a month later.

3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City on February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.

Images courtesy of SyBridge Technologies

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