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Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and Chairman of the Board of GE.

Hedge-Fund Billionaire Muscles in on GE Bid for 3-D Printing Company

Sept. 28, 2016
GE announced plans this month to buy SLM and Sweden’s Arcam AB for a combined $1.4 billion in a significant expansion of its 3D-printing capabilities.

Billionaire investor Paul Singer is seeking a bigger stake in a German 3D-printing company that General Electric Co. is attempting to acquire.

Singer, founder of hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., plans to acquire additional voting rights in  SLM Solutions Group AG in the next 12 months, he said Wednesday in a filing after surpassing the 10 percent threshold. Singer, who owns 16% of SLM’s shares, also intends to “exert influence” over matters such as the company’s capital structure and the makeup of managing and supervisory bodies.

GE announced plans this month to buy SLM and Sweden’s Arcam AB for a combined $1.4 billion in a significant expansion of its 3D-printing capabilities. GE is making greater use of so-called additive manufacturing as it focuses on building industrial equipment with digital capabilities.

The company offered 38 euros ($33.88) a share for SLM, a 37% premium over the closing price the day prior to the original announcement, GE said in a Sept. 26 offer document. SLM closed Wednesday at 42.69 euros a share.

‘Compelling’ Offer

“GE has made a compelling, high-premium offer for SLM shareholders,” Rick Kennedy, a GE spokesman, said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. “GE has committed to make significant investments to develop SLM further by extending its equipment and product offerings -- all while retaining its headquarters, management team and employees.”

Singer owns 2.9 million shares of SLM, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His firm, which owns stakes in companies such as Monsanto Co. and LifeLock Inc., sometimes wages activist campaigns in which it tries to influence executives and directors to make changes to a company’s direction.

SLM management plans to meet with Elliott’s leaders, but no date has been set, said Maximilian Breuer, a spokesman for the company. He declined to comment on Singer’s filing or GE’s bid price.

Arcam CEO Magnus Rene wasn’t immediately available by phone and didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment about whether the company has met with Elliott. A media relations representative didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail message.

Elliott didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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