On October 26th GE announced that its offer to acquire Germany’s SLM Solutions Group AG had lapsed. Despite the full support of SLM’s management and supervisory boards, it had been widely reported that two funds of Elliott Management Corp. had amassed more than a 20% stake in SLM and planned to reject GE’s bid saying the offer undervalued the company.
Upon its expiration, GE stated that it had made a very compelling offer of €38 per share for SLM shares, which constituted a 38% premium over the SLM stock price as of September 5, the day before GE made its public offer.
Commenting on the outcome of the takeover attempt, Dr Markus Rechlin, CEO of SLM Solutions Group AG, stated, “Being part of the GE Group would have given us the opportunity to accelerate on our growth track. GE had made serious and credible commitments to expand our locations and distribution network. In our view, a successful offer would not only have been in the interest of GE but also in the interest of our company, our employees and our shareholders.”
The company stated that its management and Supervisory Boards, in their joint opinion, had unanimously recommended acceptance of the offer. In the final instance, however, acceptance of the offer was subject to each SLM shareholder’s individual decision.
Uwe Bögershausen, CFO of SLM Solutions Group AG, in assessing the situation, stated, “We have shown in the past that SLM Solutions in its current independent structure is well positioned – especially with the technology we have developed and the strategy we are pursuing. However, the takeover offer and its course have caused increased uncertainty in the market for Additive Manufacturing and for our customers and employees.”
In the view of the company, its annual targets for revenue and adjusted EBITDA can still be achieved and will depend to a high degree on the results of the fourth quarter with the important formnext trade fair in Frankfurt on the horizon.
The SLM Solutions Group states that it remains committed to pursuing its strategy of further developing itself into an integrated system provider in the Additive Manufacturing area. To this end, SLM recently joined forces with Austrian company CADS GmbH and founded a company in February 2016 for the development of software for the design and construction requirements of Selective Laser Melting.
In July 2016, 3D Metal Powder GmbH was formed together with the main shareholder of TLS Spezialpulver. This company will advance the development, production and processing of special metallic powders. The plan is to initially create manufacturing capacity to produce 100 tonnes of aluminium powder per year.