3D Systems (DDD) to Acquire LatAm Additive Manufacturing Service Giant, Robtec Apr 16, 2014 09:16AM

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Robtec. Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Robtec is the largest Latin-American additive manufacturing service bureau and the leading 3D printing and scanning products distributor in the region. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, 3DS will acquire 70% of the shares of Robtec at closing and the remainder of the shares on the 5th anniversary of the closing. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The transaction provides 3DS with the strongest possible platform for its Quickparts fast-turn, custom manufacturing expansion plans in Latin America and multiplexes its in-region 3D printing and additive manufacturing reseller coverage.

Robtec brings to 3DS two decades of additive manufacturing service bureau experience with substantial production capabilities that are rooted in regional infrastructure and capacity and supported by long-term, key relationships with leading Latin American industrial companies. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next 90 days, subject to customary closing conditions. It is expected to be immediately accretive to 3DS' cash generation and to contribute to its non-GAAP earnings per share within the first 12 months after closing.

"We believe that the strong strategic and cultural fit between our companies, combined with Robtec's on-the-ground additive manufacturing service bureau capabilities, expanded channel coverage and deep automotive and aerospace customer relationships could present significant benefits for our customers, sizeable growth opportunities for us and greater value for our shareholders," commented Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS.

Recognized as the most trusted and knowledgeable Latin American 3D printing technology resource to the manufacturing sector, Robtec delivers best-in-class rapid prototyping and custom manufacturing services and brings established, long-term relationships with leading aerospace and automotive companies like Embraer, Siemens, Volkswagen, Fiat, CenPra, Visteon and Mercedes.

"This is the right time for us to add a company of Robtec's reputation, experience, growth record and scale in Latin America," continued Reichental. "With key operations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico, proven service bureau operations and leading printing and scanning distribution activities, Robtec represents the cornerstone of our Latin American expansion plans."

"We are excited to become part of 3D Systems, a leading provider of the most complete portfolio of 3D content-to-print solutions available today," said Pablo Elenter, President, Robtec. "We plan to leverage our collective knowledge and experience for the benefit of our customers by building stronger local presence and immediately delivering the full range of 3DS products and services throughout the region."

Strategic and Financial Benefits

  • Creates strategic Latin American sales and service platform to drive accelerated adoption of entire 3DS design-to-manufacturing solutions
  • Provides 3DS with significant in-region additive manufacturing service bureau capabilities, know-how and customer relations
  • Expands 3DS' global Quickparts full service offerings reach and ability to deliver the latest advanced manufacturing solutions and capabilities
  • Multiplexes 3DS' Latin American 3D printer reseller channel activities with locations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico
  • Expected to be immediately accretive to cash generation and contribute to non-GAAP earnings per share within first 12 months after closing

Immediately after closing, the company plans to transform Robtec operations into 3D Systems Latin America and expand its offerings to include 3DS' entire range of 3D design and manufacturing solutions throughout the region.

BlackBerry (BBRY) Reports Several Leading Canadian Businesses to Use BES10 Apr 16, 2014 09:11AM

BlackBerry Limited (Nasdaq: BBRY) announced that several leading Canadian customers are deploying BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), including: Volker Stevin, City of Waterloo and Samuel, Son & Co., Limited

According to J. Gold Associates(1), over the next year or two the average enterprise user will employ three to five personal devices and use eight to 10 business applications. With the growing need for enterprise users to connect to at least five different enterprise systems, such as VPN, email and the cloud, to perform work-related tasks, the management and security of devices will become increasingly more complex to control without the right enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.

Migrating to BlackBerry's EMM solution allows organizations to seamlessly manage devices, operating systems, applications and security. "Our enterprise customers know they can trust BlackBerry because they've long counted on our mobility solutions to arm their employees with the best tools to help them be more productive and collaborative - all without ever having to worry about the security of their data," said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry.

Volker Stevin, one of the largest heavy civil and highway maintenance contractors in Western Canada, is deploying BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones as the company's sole EMM solution. "We have hundreds of employees on and off the field, and they all require one thing - fast, secure and consistent communication tools," said Mike Philip, Wireless Program Manager, Volker Stevin. "We evaluated other MDM solutions like MobileIron and AirWatch, but BES10 was a clear winner in terms of being more user-friendly and cost-effective. BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BES10 allow us to improve operational efficiency with security capabilities that are second to none."

The City of Waterloo continues its long-standing partnership with BlackBerry in innovating and injecting new ideas and technologies to provide valued services that help build the best quality of life for its citizens. In addition to deploying BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones for its workforce, the City of Waterloo also worked with BlackBerry to develop the Ping Street

The City of Waterloo has also embraced BBM" to stay connected and share secure real-time updates and news with its employees during emergency situations. BBM" Groups used during emergencies sped up response time and drastically improved collaboration and critical communication during emergency incidents. "BlackBerry 10 devices are by far some of the best business smartphones available. While they deliver tangible productivity benefits and iron-clad security standards, our whole crew from planners to bylaw personnel to firefighters can also enjoy all the benefits of a cutting-edge device with all the enterprise apps they need at their fingertips," said Max Min, Director of Information Management and Technology Services, City of Waterloo.

Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, Canada's oldest and largest metals service center and metal manufacturing company, has chosen BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones as their core end-to-end business mobility solution. "We're confident that our investment in BlackBerry 10 is the best mobility solution for our workforce," said Bob Carter, Chief Information Officer, Samuel, Son & Co., Limited. "The powerful combination of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BES10 offers us an integrated mobile device and server solution that meets our highest security and productivity needs. BlackBerry also offers a best-in-class customer service experience and product training support, which makes deploying BlackBerry 10 a great value proposition overall."

The BES10 multi-platform solution allows customers to manage BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices from a single, highly secure, reliable platform. Around the globe, nearly 33,000 BES10 commercial and test servers have been installed to date. To further accelerate migration to BES10, BlackBerry launched the new EZ Pass offer that provides free migration for existing BlackBerry customers or those on any other mobility management platform. The EZ Pass offer will be available from March 31, 2014 through January 31, 2015. Please visit www.blackberry.com/ezpass

For more information about BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, please visit: www.bes10.com

Kodak (KODK), manroland web systems Enter Integration Agreement for Prosper S20, S30 Apr 16, 2014 09:05AM

Kodak (NYSE: KODK) and manroland web systems GmbH have signed an agreement to integrate the KODAK PROSPER S20 and S30 Imprinting Systems into webpress lines. The integration will enable high-value variable print for newspaper applications. Based in Augsburg, Germany, manroland web systems is a 170-year-old web press manufacturer focused on the newspaper and publishing markets and will become the first worldwide reseller and OEM partner focused on the newspaper industry utilizing KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology.

“We appreciate the technology and engineering experience that manroland web systems brings to this partnership,” said Kodak's Eric Owen, Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Business Development, Digital Printing & Enterprise. “They understand how to mount printheads, control speed and micro-movements and make appropriate adjustments, resulting in a head that is positioned at the right location for printing. This creates a true advantage for customers.”

Dieter Betzmeier, Executive Vice President, Technology & Project Execution, manroland web systems said: “The addition of the S-Series printhead technology from Kodak enables us to create new opportunities for our newspaper applications as well as the other markets that we participate in. Personalized advertising, micro-zoning, logistics, codes and gaming customization are just a few applications which are enabled through the use of variable print. Our engineering expertise has allowed us to offer sophisticated integration kits to our web press customers, enabling a high degree of automation for adjusting performance and delivering proven success. The result is a highly flexible automated system that can be integrated into every web press.”

These new systems are available in the market currently, and customers around the world are already taking advantage of these high-value personalized print opportunities.

AMRI (AMRI) Announces Transitioning of DDS Activities; Sees Cash, non-Cash Charges Apr 16, 2014 09:03AM

Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMRI) announced that it will be transitioning Discovery and Development Services (DDS) activities at its Syracuse, N.Y. site to other sites within AMRI and will cease operations in Syracuse by the end of June 2014. The actions taken today are consistent with AMRI's ongoing efforts to consolidate its facility resources to more effectively utilize its discovery and development resource pool and to further reduce its facility cost structure.

"The decision we have made, while difficult for our colleagues in Syracuse, reflects the continued evolution of AMRI's business to better align our operations to most efficiently support our customer needs, while preserving the skills and capabilities that our customers demand as they return to greater utilization of their outsourcing partners," said William S. Marth, AMRI's president and chief executive officer. "We remain committed to our total integrated discovery and development services platform and the capabilities for which Syracuse has become distinguished, and we will be transitioning and consolidating those activities to other sites within AMRI."

AMRI's Syracuse Research Center provides services to the global pharmaceutical industry including chemical process research and development, custom chemical synthesis and scale-up of pharmaceuticals intermediates and final products. As part of the transition, Syracuse DDS capabilities and some employees will be transferred to a number of AMRI facilities, including Albany, N.Y.; Cedarburg, Wis.; Holywell, U.K. and Hyderabad, India. AMRI expects to finalize transition plans by the end of April 2014 and anticipates no interruption to current or future projects, which require Syracuse specific capabilities.

AMRI estimates that it will incur certain one-time cash and non-cash charges related to the reduction in force and other transition activities between $5.75 - $6.50 million, which includes $3.75 - $4.25 million in non-cash fixed asset impairment charges. Cash charges will consist of $2.0 - $2.25 million for employee and other related costs and will primarily be paid during the second half of 2014. The Company expects the majority of these charges to be recorded in the second and third quarters of 2014. AMRI expects the actions announced today will generate annual run-rate savings of approximately $1.5 million.

Canadian Solar, Inc. (CSIQ) Completes First Diesel Hybrid PV System in Remote Microgrids Apr 16, 2014 09:01AM

Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: CSIQ) announced the completion of the first diesel hybrid PV system in the remote microgrids in northern Ontario, Canada. The 152kW rooftop solar array on the Deer Lake First Nation Elementary School, completed by Canadian Solar with its supplier partners, is the first project under the strategic partnership with NCC Development, LP ("NCC"), a First Nation renewable energy management company, in a commitment to use renewable energy (RE) microgrid solutions to assist the energy needs of off-grid First Nations and remote communities.

Serving the First Nations of Deer Lake, Fort Severn, Keewaywin, North Spirit Lake, Poplar Hill and McDowell Lake located in northern Ontario, NCC has identified more than 80 First Nations and remote communities for potential RE microgrid solution deployment, in an effort to promote photovoltaic services and projects to areas heavily reliant on diesel and challenged by limited access to electricity.

"NCC is optimistic in moving forward with our partner Canadian Solar, as we continue to build strategic collaborative efforts with leaders in the solar and renewable energy industry to foster sustainable development of Canada's indigenous communities. As North America's largest producer of solar power solutions, Canadian Solar's industry leading experience and expertise will greatly contribute to our efforts," said Geordi Kakepetum, Chief Executive Officer of NCC Development LP.

"Our partnership with NCC started 3 years ago. It underscores our strong commitment to Canada, helping to bring solar power to areas previously unable to get connected to the grid. Solar is a green, flexible, low-cost, and sustainable energy solution for these underserved First Nations and other rural areas. We are proud of our involvement in this important effort and the direct impact we will have on so many deserving families," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar Inc.

"To reduce peak load and connect five more homes, we developed a three-part plan, including conservation, load shifting, and installing a PV solar system. This is important not only for the families who are waiting to move into these new houses, but for all of Deer Lake," said Chief Royale Meekis, the leader of Deer Lake First Nation during a ribbon cutting ceremony. Deer Lake First Nation aims to eventually replace 50% of their diesel consumption with the RE microgrid retrofit solution. The focus of the partners in developing RE microgrid solutions is also to help to build much needed additional clean energy capacity, and to support future economic development in the communities.

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