Highlands Beheer, which is the major shareholder in Additive Industries, has invested a further €14m and acquired the shares owned by co-founder and CEO Daan Kersten, who will officially leave the company on June 30th 2020.
Highlands is owned by the Wintermans family and has been Additive Industries main financing partner. Jonas Wintermans who is a Board Member of Highlands also helped co-found Additive Industries alongside Daan Kersten. So Kersten’s departure feels like a significant moment for the company. He commented: “After eight intense years of fast growth, I feel the time is right to make way and hand over the reins to new leadership.”
The additional funding will be used to expand the product portfolio, accelerate the technological roadmap and strengthen the working capital. This money will also help mitigate any impact from the current Corona Virus pandemic that may ultimately affect the company. Kersten explained: “This substantial investment confirms the long-term commitment of Highlands to the growth ambitions of the company and it allows Additive Industries to make yet another significant step on its mission to revolutionize the productivity for the additive manufacturing of high quality metal parts.”
It’s worth noting that Additive Industries picked up a €10m loan only a year ago for more or less the same expansion plans. The company has previously stated its intention to become the third largest supplier of 3D metal printers. The company has good technology with a proven printer in the MetalFab1, and a number of high profile customers together with a good reputation for looking after those customers. But given that there are several other companies also competing in this market, finding a replacement for Kersten that’s up to the job is unlikely to be a straightforward task. For now, Mark Vaes, who is currently chief technology officer will take over the responsibilities of CEO as well. He has been CTO since 2013 and overseen the development of the MetalFab1.
He commented: “Since our inception in 2012 we have been working relentlessly on building a system that is unlike any other. A modular system with the largest symmetrical build volume commercially available, minimum operating interference and most of all, class leading productivity. I am convinced that with the continued support of our clients, our partners, our team and our shareholder we can now push our innovation roadmap even more.”
You can find more information on Additive Industries from its website here. Apart from Additive Industries, Highlands also owns ATD Machinery, which makes machinery for cigar production, and NTS Group, which develops, produces, assembles and tests complex (opto) mechatronic systems and mechanical modules for high-tech OEMs.