3D Systems Corp. (DDD - Analyst Report) recently signed an agreement to acquire a part of Xerox Corporation’s (XRX - Analyst Report) product design, engineering and chemistry group and related assets. The deal is an all-cash transaction and is valued at $32.5 million.
This acquisition comes after a 15-year-long partnership between the companies and is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2013, subject to regulatory approvals. However, Xerox will retain its ink and print head development resources along with research relevant for digital printing and the 3D markets.
The acquisition is a strategic move by 3D Systems, as it expands the company’s existing partnership and also integrates some of Xerox's ultra modern labs, together with certain licensed IPs belonging to Xerox. All these will support development and manufacturing of 3D printers, going forward. 3D Systems expects to begin operating its own facility effective immediately, at Xerox’s Wilsonville campus.
Through this purchase, 3D Systems intends to add about 100 experienced engineers and contractors from Xerox primarily specializing in product design and materials science. This apart, 3D System expects to increase its R&D (research and development) expenditures annually in the range of 75% to 100% over the next few years. The company also intends to fulfill some of its pending commitments to Xerox to fully benefit from the expanded capabilities, going forward.
3D Systems has been aggressively pursuing acquisitions since Aug 2013 to expand its capability, capacity and geographic reach. In August, the company purchased design-oriented, cloud-computing service TeamPlatform, and CRDM, a U.K.-based firm that provides prototyping and tooling services.
Following that, in September, the company announced the acquisition of Sugar Labs, a California-based 3D printer of custom edible products made from sugar. Also, just last week, 3D Systems acquired Figulo Corporation, the industry's leading consumer-oriented 3D ceramics printer. On Dec 16, the company acquired Ohio-based 3D filament manufacturer, Village Plastics Co. for an undisclosed sum.
3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers, print materials and on-demand custom parts services for professionals and consumers alike. In addition, the company provides creative content development and design productivity tools. The company also offers software design tools including CAD (computer-aided design), reverse engineering and inspection, and consumer 3D printers, apps and services.
3D Systems currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Alps Electric Co. Ltd. (APELY - Snapshot Report) and Planar Systems Inc. . Both hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).