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Stratasys Terminates Desktop Metal Merger, Explores Strategic Alternatives Amid Shareholder Opposition

Hillary Cargo
By Hillary Cargo Senior Editor, SME Media

Stratasys has officially terminated its merger agreement with Desktop Metal after shareholders failed to approve the deal at the September 28, 2023 Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM). The Stratasys Board of Directors, based on preliminary vote counts, has initiated a process to explore strategic alternatives for the company.

The proposed merger between Stratasys and Desktop Metal was announced on May 25, 2023, with the goal of creating a $1.8 billion 3D printing company. However, the merger faced strong opposition from shareholders, with approximately 78.6% voting against the deal, as reported by numerous outlets.

The final, certified voting results for the EGM will be provided in a Form 6-K to be submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expected to occur within four business days.

Stratasys is now focusing on maximizing shareholder value through various strategic alternatives, which may include a strategic transaction, potential merger, business combination, or sale.

Dov Ofer, Chairman of Stratasys’ Board of Directors, stated, “We have decided to undertake a comprehensive and thorough review of all available strategic alternatives. We are entering this review as the leader in the additive manufacturing space and will continue to execute our strategy, powered by innovation and profitable growth, which has led Stratasys to outpace the competition."

He added, "Importantly, we remain focused on our mission to deliver value to customers and are committed to taking the appropriate actions to maximize value for all Stratasys shareholders.”

Stratasys emphasized that there is no guarantee that the strategic review process will result in a specific transaction or outcome. The company does not intend to disclose further developments regarding the process unless it deems such disclosure appropriate or necessary.

As part of the strategic review process, Stratasys' Board of Directors unanimously adopted an amendment to the company's shareholder rights plan, extending the expiration date of the Rights Plan for three months. The rights plan is designed to support the Board's ability to conduct the strategic review and ensure the evaluation of all options to maximize shareholder value.

Furthermore, on September 14, 2023, 3D Systems presented Stratasys with a signed merger agreement, offering what it considers a "certain, superior alternative" to the proposed Desktop Metal merger. This alternative deal is valued at $27 per Stratasys share, setting the stage for a potentially competitive process to determine the future direction of Stratasys.

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