Arcam would turn out to be one of Industrifonden’s most successful investments, following a series of twists and turns. This is the behind-the-scenes story about how a struggling but innovative company grew into a highly successful, profitable business.
Arcam in brief
Arcam manufactures equipment to produce metal components directly from digital 3D printers. This technology can be used in a couple of ways. First, existing metal components can be produced more quickly and yet still have excellent material properties. Second, new products can be made that cannot be manufactured using conventional technology.
Arcam was founded in 1997, but for Industrifonden, the mutual journey began two years later. Magnus René, Arcam’s President and CEO, looks back at that time:
“We were listed on the stock exchange early on, but despite this, for many years, there were still a few principle owners who carried the company financially.”
In the years following the initial investment, Arcam struggled as they were well ahead of their time and had difficulties picking the best sectors to focus on. “We invested in Arcam several times over these years,” says Thomas Carlström, Investment Manager at Industrifonden, “because we believed in the company’s innovative technology and excellent leadership, even when times were tough. It’s important to persevere during difficult periods. Building a company always takes longer time than you think.”
In 2003, a turning point came when the company started to manufacture parts in titanium and when Arcam decided to focus on two specific industries: aerospace and orthopedic implants. Honing in on these two industries would help to cement Arcam’s success. Industrifonden stepped up as lead investor the following year.
The company won breakthrough orders in 2006, and the industry opened its eyes and realized the greatness of Arcam’s innovative technology. Orders started rolling in. Fast-forward a few more years – and additional investments from Industrifonden and other investors – and the company’s success was a fact.
Stock shot up in value
Building a successful company takes time. That’s no secret.
Being backed up by a financially powerful and long-term investor such as Industrifonden was essential. “In the start-up phase, it is especially crucial to have an investor aboard who is in it for the long haul,” says Magnus René. “Industrifonden has been an active owner, finding financial solutions and new business partners.”
In 2012, the company was listed on the NASDAQ Stockholm stock exchange, and 3D printers started gaining public attention. Support for the company grew, and the following year, Arcam was the company whose value had increased the most on the NASDAQ Stockholm stock exchange.
Industrifonden exited the company completely in 2015 – 16 years after the initial investment was made but with a great return to culminate the journey.
Arcam at a glance
What they do: Additive manufacturing for the aerospace and orthopedic implant industries
Founded in: 1997
Initial investment: 1999
IPO: 2012 – NASDAQ Stockholm
Year exited: 2015
Headquarters: Mölndal, Sweden