3D Systems Snaps Up Israel’s Simbionix for $120 Million

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3D Systems technology at the lauch of its 'in-store experience' initiative with Staples, Los Angeles, April 29, 2014. Credit: Invision for Staples/AP Images

3D Systems, a U.S. maker of 3D printers for healthcare providers and others, said this week it was buying Israel’s Simbionix for $120 million in cash.

3DS said Simbionix, a maker of 3D virtual reality simulation systems for surgeons, would complement its growing medical business after its April acquisition of Medical Modeling, a maker of surgical planning and clinical transfer tools using 3D modeling and printing.

3DS said the Simbionix acquisition should be completed within 30 days, while the Israeli company’s chief executive, Gary Zamler, would run the 3DS Simbionix unit as a vice president.

“Simbionix is a perfect match for our healthcare business, and its powerful technology, products, channels and domain expertise expand our 3D healthcare capabilities from the training room to the operating room,” said Avi Reichental, 3DS’ chief executive. The acquisition augments the company’s “first-mover advantage,” he added.

The takeover comes despite the war raging not terribly far from Simbionix’s research-and-development center near Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Investors have poured some $600 million into Israeli startups since violence flared up after the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on June 12, according to IVC Research, which tracks high-tech fund-raising. Meanwhile, several merger-and-acquisition deals with Israeli companies have been unveiled, notably California-based ServiceNow’s purchase of Neebula Systems for $100 million on July 9.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, with an R&D center in Airport City outside Tel Aviv, Simbionix has developed simulation products used by surgeons to prepare for operations.

The company, which employs 90 people, was founded 1997 by executives including Ran Bronstein and Boaz Tal. Over the years it has won some 23 million shekels ($6.7 milion) in grants from the Chief Scientist’s Office and has repaid some 20 million shekels in royalties.

3DS’ main competitor is Minnesota-based Stratasys, which merged with Israeli 3D-printing firm Objet in 2012. Shares of 3DS have been under pressure this week, plunging in New York on Thursday after the company said quarterly net income had fallen 77% from a year ago. Also, earlier in the week, Amazon launched its 3D Printed Products store.

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