Proto Labs acquires RAPID; expands services with sheet metal fabrication

Proto Labs acquires RAPID; expands services with sheet metal fabrication

Proto Labs will be able to offer customers another quick-turn manufacturing service while expanding its CNC machining capabilities.

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3D/Additive/Alternative Machining/Metal Cutting

Maple Plain, Minnesota – Proto Labs has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held company Rapid Manufacturing Group LLC. RAPID is a New Hampshire-based custom parts supplier specializing in quick-turn sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining. With the acquisition, Proto Labs will be able to offer its customers another quick-turn manufacturing service while expanding its CNC machining capabilities.

“Quick-turn prototyping and low-volume manufacturing have always been at the core of RAPID, and this foundation makes us a natural fit with Proto Labs’ digital model,” says Jay Jacobs, founder of RAPID. “I’m excited about the opportunities our combined manufacturing services will provide for our customers who will now have a single source for a variety of manufacturing services, including injection molding and 3D printing.”

RAPID was founded in 2001 on the idea of using automation to provide custom sheet metal parts faster than traditional methods – a story that closely parallels Proto Labs’ own. Over the next 16 years, RAPID steadily grew its manufacturing operation in terms of both capabilities and scale, including the addition of CNC machining, and now operates in 140,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. The company currently employs approximately 300 people, and will expand Proto Labs’ team to more than 2,000 employees worldwide.


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This expansion of Proto Labs’ services and capabilities reinforces its promise to customers to continue to seek ways to further optimize product development and improve supply chain efficiencies through a variety of digital manufacturing methods.

“We listen to our customers very closely to understand their needs,” explains Vicki Holt, chief executive officer of Proto Labs. “We continue to look for opportunities to expand our capabilities to serve our existing customers and to expand our customer base. RAPID not only adds quick-turn and e-commerce-enabled sheet metal services to our portfolio, it also expands our machining capabilities to support larger and more complex projects. In addition, RAPID’s culture is highly aligned with that of Proto Labs, with a talented and experienced team that we are very excited to welcome to the Proto Labs family.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Proto Labs will acquire RAPID for an aggregate purchase price of $120 million consisting of $110 million in cash and $10 million in Proto Labs stock. RAPID’s 2017 annual revenue is forecasted to be approximately $45 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions.

Proto Labs will be hosting an analyst day on Tuesday, Dec. 12, where presentations will be given by Holt and members of Proto Labs’ leadership team discussing the company’s business strategies and growth opportunities including the acquisition of Rapid Manufacturing. A live webcast of the event will be available on the Proto Labs investor relations page at protolabs.com beginning at 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 12. A replay of the webcast will be available shortly after the event.