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US billionaire Farhad Ebrahimi buys 5% stake in Stratasys

The Iranian-American millionaire is also the largest Desktop Metal stockholder

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Fred (Farhad) Ebrahimi and his wife Mary Wilkie Ebrahami acquired a total of 3,549,961 shares of Stratasys. Based on the number of shares, filed with the Securities Exchange Commission on November 16, 2023, this represents 5.13% of Stratasys’ outstanding Common Stock. At the current stock price, this investment is worth about $47 million. Stock value did not change dramatically after the transaction, continuing to trade at about 10% from the 2014 peak levels at about $13 per share.

To make it even more interesting, Ebrahimi is also the largest stockholder of Desktop Metal as he acquired 23,881,002 shares in June 2023, representing 7.43% of the company’s shares. According to a report by The 3D Printing Center, Ebrahimi applied for “activist investor” status to sell half a million shares on June 5, 2023, still holding 7.26% of the shares – more than the next largest investors companies – Vanguard and Blackrock, which have 6.94% and 6.5% of shares, respectively. More recently Ebrahimi purchased additional shares of Desktop Metal and now owns 15% of the company, which is valued at $206 million on the New York Stock Exchange.

But the rabbit hole goes even deeper. As many probably remember the destinies of Stratasys and Desktop Metal have been heavily intertwined. Stratasys was a major early investor in Desktop Metal and the two companies partnered up to share many of the resellers in Stratasys’ global network. Last year, Stratasys and Desktop Metal seemed set for a merger but the merger failed to receive shareholders’ approval, under pressure from competitors 3D Systems and Nano Dimension.

The new Stratasys F3300 FDM 3D Printer for Manufacturing.

This might be just the beginning of more interesting developments since Nano Dimension is also the largest single stockholder of Stratasys. After raising more than $1.5 billion in cash on Nasdaq during the boom times between 2020 and 2022, Nano Dimension bought a 14% stake in the summer of 2022. According to various reports, Ebrahimi supports the company’s merger with Stratasys. Will Ebrahimi and Nano Dimension’s outspoken CEO Yoav Stern go head to head or partner up in the months to come, as the AM industry inevitably moves towards consolidation?

Ebrahimi made his wealth as a cofounder of software publishing giant Quark, which was sold to a private equity fund in 2011. According to the Israeli website Globes,  Ebrahimi and his wife are now a party-at-interest in Stratasys. Ebrahimi reported to the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that he began buying Stratasys shares in November 2023. The report on the holding is a report as an activist investor but states that at this stage Ebrahimi has no plans on moves such as mergers and acquisitions, part sales from the assets, or a change in the company’s management or board of directors.

Globes reports that Ebrahimi, 85, from Denver, Colorado immigrated to the US from Iran and graduated from MIT and UCLA in the 60s and 70s. He served as Quark CEO for nearly 20 years from 1986. Together with his wife Mary he has been engaged in philanthropy in recent years and several years ago donated $410,000 to the UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies to set up a program for studying the Iranian diaspora. According to Forbes, Ebrahimi’s wealth is worth $1.2 billion.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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