GE Acquires 3D Printing Firms for US$1.4 Billion

Arcam AB and SLM Solutions to “bring two different, complementary additive technology modalities as individual anchors for a new GE additive equipment business.”

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General Electric (NYSE:GE) announced its US$1.4 billion acquisition of two European firms specializing in 3D printing technology: Arcam AB and SLM Solutions.

The Wall Street Journal says that these deals are part of GE’s drive to make the machines it will use to produce more parts using 3D printing over the next decade, saying that, “it can produce complex metal parts at lower weights and cheaper engineering costs than traditional forged or cast parts.”

Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said that one of GE’s goals is to be a leading supplier of world-class machines, materials and software. Currently, GE uses laser-powered 3D printers, 3D “inking” and “painting” machines, and other advanced manufacturing tools to make parts and products including jet engine fuel nozzles.

President and CEO of GE Aviation, David Joyce, said that, “We chose these two companies for a reason. We love the technologies and leadership of Arcam AB and SLM Solutions. They each bring two different, complementary additive technology modalities as individual anchors for a new GE additive equipment business to be plugged into GE’s resources and experience as leading practitioners of additive manufacturing. Over time, we plan to extend the line of additive manufacturing equipment and products.”

Joyce says that the acquisition seeks to enable GE to develop additive applications across six GE businesses and create new services applications. In addition, he says, “the additive manufacturing equipment will leverage Predix and be a part of our Brilliant Factory initiative.”

Arcam AB is a Sweden-based technology company that provides a cost-efficient additive manufacturing solution for production of metal components. Arcam’s global customers are mainly in the orthopedic implant and aerospace industries.

Arcam’s Board of Directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the GE offer consisting of 285 Swedish Krona (SEK) in cash per share, which is a total offer value of SEK 5,855,776,725.

SLM Solutions is a additive manufacturing company headquartered in Germany with a core focus on its patented multi laser and hull-core technology. SLM reported an increase of 85 percent in sales in the first half of 2016 and an increase of 105 percent in the second quarter of 2016. GE Aviation is offering shareholders EUR 38.00 in cash per share.

In a conference call on September 6, GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said that the company wants to be at the forefront of the additive manufacturing machines industry. GE also claims that it could cut costs by $3 billion to $5 billion across the company, since the technology could reduce design and material costs.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Pia Rivera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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