Tech Roundup All the News That's Fit to Print

3D printer manufacturer Object completes a merger with American competitor Stratsays Inc.; Indigo hiring; outgoing IBM CEO starts investment fund.

Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge

Objet prints out money for its shareholders – The 3D printer manufacturer Object, from Rehovot, this week completed the huge merger with American competitor Stratsays Inc., which was announced in April this year. Several shareholders are set to pocket millions of dollars following the merger between the two companies. The value of the corporate entity, which will trade on the Nasdaq, is estimated at $3 billion. Objet's shareholders will receive Stratsays' shares, worth around $1.4 billion. Objet's 3D printers enable manufacturers and industrial designers to reduce the time spent between the product design and marketing stages. Until the merger, Stratsays was one of Objet's main competitors. Objet's printers create models with a high level of precision and smoothness that resembles the real deal. The printing is done using acrylic-based photopolymers, which simulate plastics, their different levels of flexibility and transparency. Objet's printers are better suited than others for the product planning stage, which requires greater precision. Stratsays' products are more suitable for the later stages – when the prototypes are tested for functionality and durability.

Indigo expected to recruit 300 workers in 2013 – Indigo, the Israeli digital printing company that was acquired by HP in 2002, inaugurated a new dye manufacturing factory in Israel this week. Alon Bar-Shany, CEO of the company founded by Benny Landa, announced at the inauguration that, by the end of the year, the company intends to employ 1,000 workers in 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. Bar-Shany added: "Meg Whitman, the global CEO of HP, recently said 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, Landa, who recently established the company named after him, 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. There is room for everyone."

A weekend of deals: Tel-Ad Electronics sold to Amphenol; EMC acquires More IT Resources – 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 staffers, announced that it had sold its operations related to the import and distribution of connectors and cables, and the manufacturing and marketing of cables and electronic components, to the American firm Amphenol Corporation. The transaction amount was not disclosed, but according to information provided to TheMarker, the deal's value was several dozen million 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.

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. As an activities manager of a multinational company, which among other things acquired the activities of 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 CEO in Israel, employing more than 2,000 workers. During his time in the role, IBM purchased 11 Israeli companies or companies that were operating development centers in Israel. "The fund will combine investments and support for pre-seed start-ups from a management and marketing viewpoint, to bring them to a stage where they can raise more substantial sums and realize their dream," Nissensohn said. "There are many good people with excellent ideas but no experience in business, marketing or fundraising. The idea is to help them in this 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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