Western Australian brewing company Oz Brewing has signed a deal to acquire Australian 3D printing technology developer 3D Group in a reverse takeover that could see the 3D printer manufacturer list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) by early December.
The two companies have entered into a binding heads of agreement that will see Oz Brewing acquire 3D Group for over 1.4 billion shares, along with 750 million options.
Three-dimensional printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, is a swiftly growing technology sector in Australia at present, and although 3D Group is a relatively new player in the industry, it has already caught the attention of national stakeholders.
In early July the company showcased its FFF (fused filament fabrication) 3D printer at Melbourne's 3D Printing Conference and Expo. With maximum print volume of two metres cubed, it garnered attention as the largest 3D printer at the event.
The company also recently signed a deal with Australian-listed graphite and copper miner, Kibaran, in order to develop technology to employ graphite-derived graphene — a nano-material — in the 3D printing process.
Although still in very its early stages, 3D Group managing director Frank Pertile believes the technology could transform the manufacturing sector.
"If something can be developed that does marry 3D print technology with graphene, then it will definitely be a game-changer in terms of building things like electrical devices," he said. "The prospects and potential of the incorporation of graphene into the existing devices and technologies is enormous."
3D Group expects its revenue streams in the short term to come from the manufacture and sale of large print envelope 3D printers as well as from print bureau services to the product development, architecture, healthcare, and education sectors.
For the longer term, the company expects its retail kiosk concept to contribute to revenues, along with its online marketplace and education programs.
"3D Group wants to become a leader in the additive manufacturing sector, promoting the take up of the technology and associated services in Australia by utilising Australian knowhow and ingenuity, re-engaging the manufacturing sector and by offering 'tech' intellectual capacity the opportunity to work and develop new businesses around this disruptive technology here in Australia rather than in other parts of the world," Oz Brewing told its shareholders in a statement (PDF) this week.
The terms of the agreement are still subject to due diligence, regulatory approval and final documentation, and the settlement of the purchase of 3D Group may require Oz Brewers to re-comply with the ASX-listing rules, which cannot occur until the shareholders have approved the deal.
Following the settlement of the deal, the current Oz Brewers directors will retire and will be replaced by directors nominated by 3D Group. The agreement will see Oz Brewers enter into a loan agreement with 3D Group in order to advance the funds to the 3D printer manufacturer.
The execution of the share sale agreement is set to take place on 26 September, while the re-listing of the company on the ASX is scheduled for 12 December.
Since the announcement, Oz Brewing shares have shot up from less than AU$0.006, to AU$0.010 at the time of writing. The company, which is behind Fremantle's Mad Monk brewery, posted a loss of AU$636,000 last year.
3D Group's agreement with Oz Brewers is the latest in a growing line of Australian technology businesses entering into reverse-takeover acquisition deals with ASX-listed companies, allowing them to list publicly.
Peth-based IT consultancy company, Cirrus Networks, has revealed it is planning to list on the ASX through a reverse takeover of an as-yet-unnamed mining company, according to a report today by The Australian Financial Review.
Meanwhile, in late April, enterprise cloud application provider, PRM Cloud Solutions, was wholly acquired by ASX-listed mining exploration company, Minerals Corporation, whose business had dried up.
In March, another local cloud computing provider, CloudCentral announced it would engage in a reverse takeover of troubled vineyard ownership company, Dromana Estate.