The industry journal 3Dprinting.com published a piece a few days ago soliciting feedback and opinion on the various merger announcements in the past several weeks:
These folks don't say a whole lot because their livelihood depends on maintaining good relations with all players in the industry. Hence they're all gun shy about saying anything that might ruffle some feathers.
Yet, the tail end of the piece is well worth reading so I'll excerpt that portion below.
Customer value, integration, and culture have to be given their due. Creating a “pure play 3D firm” is meeting no customer requirement. Polymer and metal AM parts are quite different, designed differently, go in different products, and can serve very different requirements. Because of this, the path to market is quite different.
Only one of the proposed mergers creates some customer value or true synergy from what I can tell. It would appear outwardly that the company cultures are all quite different which is another warning signal. Whether built from acquisitions, or from a start up, when the cultures don’t align, the integration can be quite difficult.
From the integration standpoint, which is where most mergers ultimately fail, the savings are delayed which compounds a situation where a premium is being paid for the company. This “goodwill” will come back to haunt us as that premium will need to be paid for.
From a customer perspective, I would be looking at which combination is going to give me a better product, efficiently and one that is more productive. A lot of that hinges on the culture of the new entity.”
There you have it in a nutshell. As I've stated before, Stratasys and Objet never fully merged cultures a decade ago. Likewise, there's no way Desktop Metal has been able to integrate all the cultures it has acquired in the past couple of years. DM has already had to write off hundreds of millions in goodwill.
The risks here are high for all of these proposed business combinations. Would prefer to see DDD proceed on its own and let the others flail about with these poorly thought out merger proposals. NNDM, SSYS and DM all have a sense of desperation to them. None have any overarching vision of who they want to be or how they plan to enrich shareholders.