Monday, Jul 18, 2005 5:00 AM
BURLINGTON, MA, USA, and ALLEROD, Denmark - July 19, 2005 - Contex Scanning Technology and Z Corporation today announced that the companies will merge to create a global leader in color scanning and 3D printing solutions for engineering markets, including computer-aided design (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS) and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The combined company will have annual revenue in excess of $100 million USD (84 million euro), distribution in more than 80 countries, and more than 400 employees.
"This merger is exciting because combining Z Corp.'s 3D printers with our leading 2D scanning and data lifecycle management products delivers a complete solution for data collection, storage, processing, and output," said Steen Borg, CEO of Contex Scanning Technology and CEO of the combined entity. "Our research showed that Z Corp.'s technology advantages of speed, low cost, and color were the drivers behind rapid market acceptance and the company's rapid growth. With the powerful financial backing of our principal investor, EQT, and Z Corp.'s outstanding team, Z Corp. will be the engine for our future growth in the 3D space."
Contex scanners digitally capture documents, drawings and other 2D input in order to view, edit, archive, convert, file or print the output data. Z Corp. markets the world's fastest, lowest cost, and only full-color 3D printers - machines that produce physical prototypes of electronic product designs much like conventional printers produce paper output of electronic documents.
"Z Corp.'s color advantage was decisive," Borg continued. "We are confident that color will be as indispensable in 3D printers as it is in 2D printers and scanners. We look forward to bringing these products to the engineering mainstream market."
Marina Hatsopoulos, Z Corporation's founding CEO will accept a seat on the Contex Board of Directors and join former Z Corporation Chairman Walter Bornhorst as an investor in Contex. Tom Clay will remain President of Z Corporation, a Contex subsidiary that will operate independently, retaining its company name, brand, R&D infrastructure, and sales channel.
Hatsopoulos sees the merger as an extraordinary opportunity for customers, employees, and business partners. "Combining Z Corp. with the financial strength and market presence of Contex puts us in the ideal position to fuel future growth," she said. Clay added that the combination would help Z Corporation rapidly expand its product offerings. "This merger enables us to build a stronger company with the resources to accelerate R&D and grow the market for mainstream 3D printing," he said.
"We realized long ago that the most useful qualities of our 3D printers were speed, great part quality and color," said Dan Armstrong, Technology Initiative Manager of NIKE USA. "That's why we recommend it to our network of NIKE companies and have more Z Corporation 3D printers than all other RP devices combined. It is no surprise that Z Corporation is the first technology to take this next step."
Analysts say the merger is just the latest noteworthy example of progress for Z Corp. and 3D printing in general. "Z Corporation is on a roll with the impressive speed and color of its new Spectrum Z510 color printer, and the market has responded favorably," said industry analyst Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates. "To be the company of choice by Contex confirms that its products are poised to enter the mainstream."
About Contex Scanning Technology
Contex Scanning Technology is the leading manufacturer of wide-format color and monochrome scanners and an innovative developer of advanced scan and copy software for these products. Contex creates solutions for Reprographics, CAD, GIS, Graphic Arts, Document Archival, Copy shops, POP/Exhibit providers, Pre-Press, Sign and Billboard production, Architecture and Engineering offices. Context Scanning Technology is wholly owned by EQT. Visit www.contex.com.
EQT is a leading private equity group in Northern Europe with an industrial strategy and strong record of delivering superior returns over time. Managing almost 7 billion USD (6 billion euros) in capital, and with experience from 39 investments, EQT offers its portfolio companies financial support, strategic guidance and a significant network of contacts. Visit www.eqt.se.
About Z Corporation
Z Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets the world's fastest, high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce 3D physical prototypes of real-world objects with the speed, ease, and affordability of 2D desktop printing. Leading manufacturers, Fortune 500 companies, and centers for research, including Sony, Fisher-Price, Adidas, Canon, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BMW, Porsche, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Harvard, MIT and Yale, rely on Z Corp.'s printers to produce prototypes as part of the development of a broad range of world-class products and technologies. Z Corp. systems are not only the fastest 3D printers on the market but also offer the only color 3D printing capabilities. Z Corp. holds patents on its proprietary 3D printing materials and equipment and licenses others from MIT, where the company's technology was originally developed.