Tech Roundup / Printing 3D Cash for Shareholders

Indigo digital printing has a growth spurt; buying and selling over the weekend in high-tech; former IBM chief keeps it in the family.

Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge
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Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge

Objet prints money for shareholders: the 3D printing manufacturer Objet, from Rehovot, sealed the deal on a huge merger this week with American competitor Stratsays, after announcing their intentions in April. The value of the corporate entity, which will trade on the Nasdaq, is estimated at $3 billion, and several Objet shareholders are set to pocket millions of dollars from the transaction, receiving Stratsays' shares worth around $1.4 billion. Objet's 3D printers enable manufacturers and industrial designers to reduce time spent from product design to marketing by constructing computerized 3D objects. Objet's printers print models with a high level of precision and smoothness that resembles the real product using acrylic-based photopolymers, which create parts that simulate plastics at different levels of flexibility and transparency. Objet's printers are considered to be more appropriate for the product planning stage, which requires higher levels of smoothness and precision. Stratsays' products are more suitable for the later stages – when the prototypes are tested for functionality and durability, after their printed products have higher levels of strength and physical durability. Until the merger, Stratsays was one of Objet's main competitors but now the two are enemies no more.

Indigo expands operations: Indigo, the Israeli digital printing company that was purchased by HP in 2002, inaugurated a new dye manufacturing factory in Israel this week. Alon Bar-Shany, the CEO of the company that was founded by Benny Landa, announced at the inauguration that by the end of the year, the company intends to hire 1000 employees for its factory in Kiryat Gat, compared to the 700 workers employed there today. "We've increased our sales threefold in seven years," Bar-Shany, the current general manager of HP Indigo, said. "Our goal right now is to double them within five years." Analysts estimate Indigo's revenues in Israel in 2012 were $2 billion. Indigo is investing NIS 150 million to expand its production capabilities in Kiryat Gat, taken from the division's revenues. Bar-Shany added: "Meg Whitman, the global CEO of HP, recently stated that the fourth quarter is expected to be a record quarter for Indigo. We've been maintaining a growth rate of around 20 percent, in the number of pages printed by our machines worldwide, for a few years now. This is a good indication for an increase in our volume of ink sales," he said. Bar-Shany also referred to the activity of the company's founder, Benny Landau, who recently established the company Landa, also a digital printing company. "We are very happy that Benny Landa is returning to the field," he said. "We are not competing with each other in the same segment. There is room for everyone."

A weekend of deals: Tel-Ad Electronics sold; EMC acquires: The majority of high-tech workers in Israel don’t work weekends, but despite this, last weekend was especially tempestuous. The Israeli company Tel-Ad Electronics, which employs 200 staff, announced that it had sold its operations in import and distribution of connectors and cables and the manufacture and marketing of cables and electronic components to the American developer of communication devices Amphenol Corporation. The transaction amount was not disclosed, but according to information provided to TheMarker, the deal amounts to several tens of millions of dollars. At the same time, Greenplum, which is fully owned by the storage giant EMC, announced that it had purchased the Israeli company More IT Resources.

Like father, like son-in-law at IBM: The outgoing CEO of IBM Israel, Meir Nissensohn, is founding an investment fund with his son-in-law, Yanki Margalit. Nissensohn, who left IBM Israel after 43 years, will join Margalit, the founder of the company Aladdin Knowledge Systems, in establishing a venture capital fund that will invest in pre-seed start-ups. The fund will begin operations in the coming months. It will join the lively scene of investments in pre-seed start-ups and micro-funs, where Angel investors typically play. As an activities manager of a multinational company, which among other things acquired local start-ups, Nissensohn is familiar with the Israeli high-tech industry. He is finishing a 43-year long career at IBM – 16 years of which were spent as the company's CEO in Israel, employing more than 2000 workers. During his time in the role, IBM purchased 11 Israeli companies or companies with operating development centers in Israel. "The fund will combine investments and support for pre-seed start-ups from a management and marketing point of view, to bring them to a stage where they can raise more substantial sums and realize their dream," Nissensohn said. "There are many good and nice people with excellent ideas but no experience in business, marketing or fundraising. The idea is to help them in this area and not just with money," he added.


Objet CEO David Reis next to one of his company’s printers. Objet's merger with chief rival Stratsays is a lucrative deal for its shareholders.Credit: Ron Kedmi

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