Markforged and Formlabs Merger: Is this what we all want?

3 Mins read
Markforged officially got listed on NYSE in July 2021
Markforged officially got listed on NYSE in July 2021/Source: Summit Partners

In what may come as a surprise to many but the continued listing standards notice from the NYSE are an indication of what’s happening at Markforged. This development has prompted Greg Mark, the company’s founder and former CEO, to make an intriguing proposal to Formlabs via Linkedin, implying a Markforged and Formlabs Merger that could reshape the landscape of this dynamic sector. While mergers and acquisitions are common in the 3D printing industry, the implications of this proposal are enormous.

Markforged recently made headlines after receiving a continued listing standards notice from the NYSE, implying financial difficulties and fueling speculation about the company’s future.

What does ‘Listing Standards Notice’ really mean?

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) issued a “continued listing standards notice” to Markforged, a publicly traded company, due to issues or deficiencies. This notice is usually the NYSE’s formal warning that the company may not meet the exchange’s listing requirements.

NYSE-listed companies must meet certain standards to stay listed. Companies’ minimum share price, market capitalization, and financial reporting requirements are covered by these standards. A continued listing standards notice suggests Markforged failed to meet one or more of these criteria. It can result from falling stock prices, financial losses, or late financial report submissions.

This warning indicates financial issues or irregularities in the company. It may raise concerns among investors, analysts, and the financial community about the company’s stability and NYSE listing.

Markforged and Formlabs Merger?

Markforged and Formlabs Merger
Markforged and Formlabs Merger (Image for representation purpose)

Greg Mark and Maxim Lobovsky, the founder of Formlabs, are both from the same industry, and their companies don’t have any direct competitors. They have maintained a close relationship over the years and appear to have discussed the possibility of merging their two companies to revolutionise the industry.

Markforged and Formlabs have both established themselves in the 3D printing landscape. Markforged has a global reputation for its innovative high-quality metal and composite 3D printers, materials, and software solutions. Meanwhile, Formlabs has played an important role in popularising SLA technology, bringing industrial-grade technology to the desktop while maintaining superior quality. Formlabs has become synonymous with desktop SLA printing.

The benefits of a merger between these two companies could be significant. First and foremost, it may result in a more extensive and diverse product portfolio. Combining Formlabs’ SLA expertise with Markforged’s metal and composite printing expertise could provide customers with a one-stop shop for a variety of 3D printing needs, from rapid prototyping to end-use production parts.

Importantly, their complementary product portfolios mean that both teams can continue to target their respective clienteles without compromising or eliminating products, which has been a common pitfall in many recent mergers and acquisitions. This strategy broadens their reach and provides more opportunities to meet customer needs in home, office, and factory manufacturing.

Furthermore, the merger has the potential to stimulate industry innovation and research. Companies are often driven to push the boundaries of technology by competition, and a merged entity with the combined resources of Formlabs and Markforged would be well-positioned to lead the way in technological advancements. This could benefit the entire 3D printing ecosystem in the long run.

Will it happen?

While Greg Mark has set the ball rolling with this proposal, only time will tell what really happens. This move might be an attempt to gauge market reactions and assess the sentiments of both companies and their managements or just a plain simple outburst of where the company is going with all the promising technology it has. We believe that a merger would be beneficial to both companies, their customers, and the broader 3D printing community. It is without doubt a merger we all want to see happen, unlike many others in the industry.

Merging, on the other hand, is far from simple, as it involves a number of intricate challenges and inherent risks. The integration of two distinct corporate cultures can be a time-consuming and complex process. Furthermore, regulatory obstacles and antitrust concerns may arise, particularly if the newly merged entity gains a dominant market position.

Furthermore, the merger’s financial implications must not be overlooked. The NYSE’s notice prompted Greg Mark’s appeal, but it remains unclear whether Formlabs has the financial capacity and strategic motivation to pursue this acquisition. A merger of this size necessitates careful financial planning as well as a clear vision for the future.

While the concept of a combined Formlabs-Markforged entity is intriguing and could lead to exciting developments in the 3D printing industry, only time will tell whether this audacious suggestion becomes a reality and what impact it will have on the future of additive manufacturing.

In our Opinion section, Manufactur3D shares thought, opinions and insights from additive manufacturing industry leaders from across the globe. The thoughts published under this series are the authors own thoughts and they may or may not be endorsed by Manufactur3D. To publish your thought leadership articles in our opinion section, mail us your article along with your credentials.

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About author
Abhimanyu Chavan is the founder of Manufactur3D Magazine. He writes on Additive Manufacturing technology, interviews industry leaders, shares industry insights, and expresses his thoughts on the latest developments in the industry. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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