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Elliott hikes stake in German 3D printer SLM Solutions to 29 percent

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Activist investor Elliott has hiked its stake in German 3D printing firm SLM Solutions to 29.8 percent and is bringing in new supervisory board members following a series of profit warnings and a slump in the company’s share price.

SLM said in a statement on Thursday that Elliott would acquire all new shares from a capital increase, priced at 7.23 euros (£6.2) a share. SLM said it would reap 13 million euros in proceeds from the deal.

Its shares rose 14 percent on Friday by 0830 GMT.

Elliott in 2017 invested in SLM in anticipation of a takeover by General Electric, but was caught wrong-footed as GE turned to peer Arcam instead and walked away from SLM.

SLM’s shares have lost almost 90 percent since the beginning of 2018 as customers turned their back on SLM given its unclear prospects, prompting a series of profit warnings.

SLM appointed GE manager Meddah Hadjar as CEO this week to turn around the company, which saw losses accelerate and revenues shrink in 2018.

With Elliott’s backing, the company has suggested appointing former Jenoptik CEO Michael Mertin, former Arcam CEO Magnus René and former Goldman Sachs manager Thomas Schweppe to the supervisory board, SLM said.

“We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with the company,” Elliott manager Franck Tuil said in a statement.

Elliott plans to transfer 20 percent of the new shares to hedge fund ENA Investment Capital, which holds 8 percent in SLM solutions via instruments.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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