GE (NYSE:GE) has reached an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Concept Laser GmbH for $599 million (€549 million). The agreement allows for GE to take full ownership in a number of years.
Privately-held Concept Laser has more than 200 employees and is headquartered in Lichtenfels, Germany, with significant operations in the United States and China. The company has a global network of more than 35 distributors and agents. Concept Laser is a pioneer in the field of metal Additive Manufacturing.
David Joyce, GE Vice Chairman and President & CEO of GE Aviation, stated, “Concept Laser founder Frank Herzog and his team are true pioneers in metal laser melting technology. We are committed to enhancing Concept Laser’s technologies and product offerings across a well-established customer base.”
Herzog stated, “GE shares our vision regarding the potential for Additive Manufacturing to lead the digital transformation of industrial production. We are delighted that together we will be able to accelerate development of the technology to the benefit of our customers. We have some exciting new product offerings due to come to market, including our innovative AM Factory of Tomorrow modular concepts, and with GE’s support we will be at the centre of Industrie 4.0.” Herzog will continue as CEO of Concept Laser and will also assume a senior leadership position within GE.
In order to support the growth potential of the business, GE has committed to invest significantly into Lichtenfels, which will continue to be Concept Laser’s headquarters and will become a new German centre for GE. GE will retain Concept Laser’s management and employees. In addition, the close partnership that exists between Concept Laser and Hofmann Tool Manufacturing will continue.
Concept Laser sets the stage for GE to sell Additive Manufacturing equipment across several industries. Mr and Mrs Herzog founded Concept Laser in 2000 and commercialised the first metal Additive Manufacturing machine in 2001. Over the past sixteen years Concept Laser has industrialised the technology with its patented LaserCUSING® process and remains at the forefront of the industry.
Concept Laser’s customer base is focused on the aerospace, medical and dental industries, with a meaningful presence in automotive and jewellery. The company’s machine range incorporates both the largest and smallest build envelopes currently available on the market and are capable of processing various powder materials including titanium, nickel-base, cobalt-chromium and precious metal alloys, as well as hot-work and high-grade steels and aluminium.
At the forthcoming Formnext trade fair, Concept Laser will announce the sales launch of the new machine concept with fully modular machine technology along with the series production offering of the AM Factory of Tomorrow.
“Concept Laser machines are being used by leading manufacturers of medical, aerospace and dental components in series production as well as for prototyping and design. We are hitting an inflection point in demand as customers increasingly understand the possibilities that Additive Manufacturing presents and the technology advances to be able to turn these possibilities into reality. With GE’s broader investment into Additive Manufacturing, we believe that this process will only accelerate,” stated Herzog.
The deal is subject to customary regulatory reviews.