Two leaders in the 3-D printer industry are combining operations.
On Wednesday, industrial 3-D printer manufacturer Stratasys (SSYS) announced that it will acquire fellow 3-D printer-maker MakerBot in a stock deal worth $403 million. The deal, which is expected to be completed during the third quarter, gives Stratasys access to the lower-end “prosumer” market, the Associated Press notes.
Under the merger agreement, Stratasys will issue 4.76 million of its shares to MakerBot’s stakeholders. An additional 2.38 million shares could be issued to MakerBot’s owners if the business meets certain targets by the end of next year.
MakerBot produces 3-D printers priced between $2,000 and $3,000 each, while Stratasys builds commercial printers that cost up to $600,000.
In December, Stratasys purchased Israel-based 3-D printer maker Objet.
Industry experts expect the 3-D printing market to hit $6 billion by 2016. However, the nascent 3-D printing business could face legal hurdles as it tries to expand.
Shares of Stratasys climbed modestly in Thursday morning trading.