In the latest deal in its European additive manufacturing shopping spree, GE says it has reached an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Concept Laser GmbH for $599m (€549m). The agreement allows for GE to eventually take full ownership.
Privately-held Concept Laser has more than 200 employees and is headquartered in Lichtenfels, Germany, with significant operations in the United States (Grapevine, Texas), China, and a global network of more than 35 distributors and agents. Concept Laser is a pioneer in the field of metal additive manufacturing.
Concept Laser designs and manufacturers powder bed-based laser additive manufacturing machines. Its customer base is focused on the aerospace, medical and dental industries. Concept Laser’s machine range incorporates both the largest and smallest build envelopes currently available on the market and is 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 aluminum.
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 center for GE. GE will retain Concept Laser’s management and employees.
In September, GE announced plans to acquire two other European suppliers of additive manufacturing equipment – Arcam AB of Sweden and SLM Solutions Group AG of Germany – for $1.4bn, though the SLM deal has apparently now fallen through. GE says it expects to grow the new additive business to $1bn by 2020 and says it is aiming for $3-5bn of “product cost-out” across the company over the next ten years.
GE Aviation introduced into airline service this year its first additive jet engine component – complex fuel nozzle interiors – with the LEAP jet engine.