3D printer maker Markforged to go public via $2.1 billion SPAC deal

(Reuters) – U.S. 3D printer maker Markforged said on Wednesday it had agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm backed by venture investor Kevin Hartz, in a deal valuing the equity of the combined company at $2.1 billion.

The deal with Hartz’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is called ‘one’, is expected to provide the merged entity with around $425 million in gross proceeds. Hart is the founder of ticketing site Eventbrite Inc.

Shares of the one SPAC, which raised $200 million in an initial public offering last year, jumped by 20.9% on Wednesday following the deal announcement.

Markforged said it booked $70 million in revenue from over 10,000 customers in 2020, counting RPG Industries and Caldwell Manufacturing among its clients. It projected a tenfold growth to reach $706 million in annual revenue by 2025.

“Going public through the one SPAC helps us find the right partner and provide capital for our future growth as we expand into more industries and regions,” said Markforged chief executive Shai Terem.

The proceeds from the transaction include a $210 million private investment anchored by Baron Capital Group, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Microsoft Corp’s venture fund M12 and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Markforged was founded in 2013 and manufactures The Digital Forge, an artificial intelligence-powered 3D printer that integrates metal and carbon fiber to make products.

Last year, Desktop Metal, another 3D printing technology provider, also chose to merge with a SPAC to go public. It was valued at $2.5 billion in the deal.

SPACs are shell companies that raise money in an IPO to pursue an acquisition at a later date. They serve as an alternative to a traditional IPO for companies looking to enter public markets.

Markforged will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange after the merger and will trade under the new ticker symbol ‘MKFG.’

Citigroup Global Markets Inc and Goldman Sachs & Co LLC are acting as financial advisors to Markforged and one, respectively.

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