Nano Dimension Makes First 3D Printing Acquisition Since Decision to Exit Stratasys

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After a whirlwind couple of years for Nano Dimension (Nasdaq: NNDM), the Israeli manufacturer of electronics 3D printers has initiated its latest strategy, acquiring additive manufacturing (AM) software firm Additive Flow. The U.K.-based firm develops solutions for 3D design simulation and optimization that Nano suggests will complement its artificial intelligence technology, Deep Cube.

Additive Flow’s software is designed to perform simulation of mechanical, thermal, thermo-mechanical properties, as well as frequency and fatigue across a range of materials and processes. This is all meant to aid in the design and production of 3D printed parts in terms of optimizing for cost, weight, and manufacturing productivity and yield all at once. The startup’s technology will be integrated into Nano’s own proprietary design package for electronics 3D printing, dubbed FLIGHT.

By purchasing the software company, Nano Dimension is addressing issues typically experienced by 3D printing users but applying them to the unique niche of additively manufactured electronics (AMEs). All AM technologies are finicky and require simulation to accurately predict part production and performance. For AMEs, the dynamics are that much more complex, due to the need to incorporate additional electronic components. In this regard, Additive Flow will aid in Nano Dimension customers’ ability to replicate, design, and augment AME electronic components’ prototypical layouts.

Alexander Pluke, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Additive Flow commented: “The Additive Flow team is thrilled to join Nano Dimension. Our solution was born out of real engineering challenges we faced to harness the capability of advanced manufacturing. Our platform is built from the ground up to handle all the complex data and decisions of digital engineering, so teams can focus on their key goals. We are fortunate to have found a great partner in Nano Dimension where our innovation can be leveraged to its maximum potential. We look forward to building on our impressive track record and continuing to develop Additive Flow’s software and enhance Nano Dimension’s leading AM and AME product offerings.”

Nick Geddes, Senior Chief Technology Officer of Nano Dimension, added: “We have been looking at the software market for simulation and optimization offerings for some time. There are many strong solutions in the market that do certain elements of those complicated tasks, but it is Additive Flow’s product that stood out in terms of the functionality we needed for a holistic solution, especially in the context of our requirements across AME and multi-dimensional polymer, metal and ceramic AM. The acquisition will add considerable firepower to the ability of our customers to leverage our leading digital manufacturing solutions.”

Larger Context for Nano Dimension

The move comes as Nano Dimension retreats from its attempts to perform a hostile takeover of Stratasys. The company is in the process of selling its 14.1 percent ownership of the 3D printing stalwart and has decided no longer to replace its board, which was all recently re-elected. Upon making this decision, Nano Dimension CEO Yoav Stern announced that he would be making some other strategic acquisitions, the first of which is Additive Flow.

In the run up to its attempt at merging with Stratasys, Nano’s management made eight rounds of common stock offerings, allowing it to amass a war chest of over $1 billion. Such a large amount would be necessary to buy out the industry’s most profitable firm but is no longer needed for smaller acquisitions. This is likely the reason that the company recently issued a stock buyback plan that allows Nano to spend up to $227.5 million in repurchasing American Depository Shares through open or privately negotiated transactions or other legal means, depending on market conditions and other factors.

Meanwhile, Nano Dimension’s largest shareholder, Murchinson Ltd, has continued its own efforts to take over the Israeli firm, submitting proposals seeking the removal of all current members of Nano’s Board of Directors prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for September 7, 2023. Murchinson has been lobbying for changes to the board for months, now proposing that the entire board be replaced with five nominees: Karen Sarid, Baord Director of Israeli psychiatric treatment company Brainsway; Robert Pons, former CEO of video streaming company SeaChange International; Phillip Borenstein, a Partner at Hamilton EQ Management LLC; Timor Arbel-Sadras, CEO of LeumiTech, the banking arm of Israel’s largest bank; and Ofir Baharav, who previously served as director of Nano Dimension itself from 2015 to 2021.

In response, Nano Dimension CEO Yoav Stern announced his intent to resign from the Board before the AGM, and as CEO afterward if any of Murchinson’s nominees are elected. Stern and other members of senior management have expressed unwillingness to work under a board that includes any Murchinson-paid directors.

Moreover, the company’s management claimed that Murchinson “paid its director nominees $50,000 each in cash – or a total of $250,000 – for simply agreeing to stand for election to Nano’s Board of Directors (“the Board”), regardless of outcome.” The team went on to write negatively about Ofir Baharav, Nano’s former chairman.

While Nano continues to fend off attacks from Murchinson, it will likely continue its growth strategy. It’s interesting to see the company perform a stock buyback, which at least temporarily allowed the share price to increase by seven percent. Who Nano may purchase next is up for speculation, which 3DPrint.com performed in a separate article here.

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