3D Systems and Z Corporation both announced on Monday the 21st of November that Z Corporation, the leader in multi-color inkjet 3D printing, will be acquired by 3D Systems Corporation, becoming the first company capable of delivering an integrated platform of mixed 3D printing technologies,3D design services and 3D content. 3D Systems also acquired Vidar, a leading manufacturer of medical film digitizers. Z Corporation and Vidar, previously owned by Ratos AB, a Sewedish holding company specializing in developing valuable technology properties, are being sold for a record price of USD $137M. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Z Corporation CEO John Kawola said the following: “Our vision is to help designers create more ideas, more communication, and more innovation; and joining 3D Systems enables to us deliver on that promise even faster. We intend to make multi-color 3D printing accessible to far more designers, provide a more complete customer experience, rapidly advance new applications, and build the foundation for a new generation of Z Corporation innovations.”
Z Corporation open message to customers and partners
3D Systems News Release
The biggest technological gain for 3D Systems is the color printing capability of Z Corporation. Z Corporation was the only major 3D printer manufacturer to market a device capable of on-demand multicolor 3D printing. After this merger, 3D Systems will be the only one to market a device capable of this. Together with this knowledge, 3D Systems will also take over the extensive network of resellers and software solution partners that Z Corporation gathered over the years of its existence.
It is not sure yet why 3D Systems also acquired Vidar. Vidar does have its own large network of medical resellers which may help 3D Systems for futures opportunities to sell their entire product line. It could also have been a condition by Ratos for the sale of Z Corporation.