Last year’s fight over Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS) temporarily concluded as the additive manufacturing (AM) industry headed into Q4, as its merger deal with Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM) failed to achieve shareholder approval. However, just as 2024 was wrapping up, Stratasys’s largest shareholder, Israeli electronics 3D printing firm Nano Dimension (Nasdaq: NNDM), resurrected the battle with a bid to acquire the AM stalwart at $16.50 per share. Now, Desktop Metal’s own largest shareholder, Farhad Ebrahimi, has come to the stalwart’s rescue, acquiring a 5.13% stake in Stratasys with his wife Mary Ebrahimi.
Amounting to approximately $47 million, the billionaire couple’s positions make them notable influencers in the company’s future. This move, detailed in a 13D SEC filing on January 25, 2024, showcases Ebrahimi’s continued interest and investment in the direction of the 3D printing sector. Ebrahimi, with a net worth of over $1.1 billion, began purchasing Stratasys stock on November 29, 2023, accumulating 3,459,961 shares. Additionally, the couple’s investment strategy includes 592,500 PUT options, with expiry in January 2025, further cementing their financial commitment to Stratasys.
Since becoming Desktop Metal’s largest shareholder on May 30, 2023, Ebrahimi has played a pivotal role in the company’s strategic decisions. His support for the initially proposed merger between Stratasys and Desktop Metal, which ultimately failed in September 2023 due to Stratasys shareholders’ opposition, demonstrates his active participation in shaping the industry’s dynamics. Despite the merger’s failure, Ebrahimi continued to invest in Desktop Metal, purchasing an additional $2.5 million worth of shares in October 2023. He currently owns about 15 percent of the company.
Notably, just six days prior to Ebrahimi’s acquisition of Stratasys shares on January 30, 2024, Desktop Metal announced a major staff reduction, laying off 20 percent of its workforce as part of a cost reduction plan. This decision reflects the challenges and the need for restructuring that companies in the sector are facing.
The backdrop to these developments includes Nano Dimension’s renewed bid to acquire Stratasys. On December 21, 2023, Stratasys adopted a limited duration Rights Plan, aimed at protecting its long-term shareholder interests and preventing control or significant influence by entities through share accumulation. Just two days later, on December 23, the electronics AM firm put in its new offer for Stratasys, indicative of the intense competition and consolidation efforts in the industry (great timelines of the Stratasys drama have been put together by TCT and 3D Printing Industry, while I provide a broad overview at Forbes.com).
It seems apparent, then, that Ebrahimi’s move is meant to counter Nano Dimension and other shareholders who opposed the proposed Desktop Metal. Despite claims that the 3D printing industry is in trouble, it still feels as though AM is on the precipice of a major transformation, if government interest in the technology is any indication. Exactly what that will look like is hard to gauge at the moment, but there are sure to be interesting developments in the year.
Feature image courtesy of the Indian Express.
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