Whoa. Yesterday afternoon, Makerbot and Stratsys broke the news that they will be joining forces to bring additive manufacturing to the masses. Publicly-listed Stratasys is technically acquiring Makerbot as a subsidiary; the buyout is valued at just over $400 million in the former company's stock. Per the press release:
The combination of these two industry leaders is expected to drive faster adoption of 3D printing for multiple applications and industries, as desktop 3D printers are becoming a mainstream tool across many market segments. Upon completion of the transaction, MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy. The merger enhances Stratasys' leadership position in the rapidly growing 3D printer market, by enabling Stratasys to offer affordable desktop 3D printers together with a seamless user experience. The merger is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013; and it is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions customary for such transactions.
Brooklyn-based Makerbot has reportedly sold 22,000 3D printers since the company was founded in 2009, logging half of those sales within the past nine months, with the launch of the Replicator 2, and will presumably continue to operate as the consumer-facing side of the newly-form company. Some of you may also remember that Minneapolis, MN / Rehovot, Israel-based Stratasys quietly merged with Objet just over a year ago.
A press conference will be streaming live at Makerbot.com at 10am EST.