FRANKFURT, April 10 German 3D printer maker SLM Solutions is considering using some of the proceeds from its planned flotation on the Frankfurt stock market to buy a supplier of one of its key input materials, Chief Executive Markus Rechlin said on Thursday.
SLM specialises in selective laser melting (SLM) machines, which use a laser beam to fuse fine metallic powders together and create a three-dimensional object.
"We have earmarked a third of our targeted 75 million euros ($103 million) in proceeds to develop the powder business," Rechlin told Reuters in an interview.
"We do not want to produce the powders ourselves but can imagine an acquisition of a producer or entering into a close cooperation."
Separately, SLM also wants to use the flotation money for investment in its sales and service business and to open offices in the United States, Japan and Singapore. It also plans to increase spending on research and development.
"3D printing technology is just about to take off and big industrial customers will shortly start ordering not single machines but start placing multiple machine orders," Rechlin said, adding that metal-based 3D printing was the fastest growing technology of the sector.
SLM counts companies like GE, Alstom and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) as customers, which are interested in making complex three dimensional metallic objects.
Chief Financial Officer Uwe Boegershausen said the free float should be "reasonable" after the listing, declining to comment on a potential valuation of SLM, which competes with Arcam, 3D Systems and ExOne.
A listing is scheduled to take place next month, two sources familiar with the transaction said. ($1=0.7249 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Huebner; Editing by Greg Mahlich)