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Leo Hindery’s SPAC to Merge with Desktop Metal

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Cable legend Leo J. Hindery Jr.’s special purpose acquisition company Trine Acquisition Corp. has agreed to merge with Desktop Metal in a deal that will value the 3D printing technology company at about $2.5 billion.

Hindery formed Trine in March 2019, raising about $261 million in an initial public offering, with the intention of purchasing a company in the media or tech space. SPACs, also called “blank check companies,” are becoming an increasingly popular vehicle for smaller companies to go public. Earlier this month, documentary-focused streamer CuriosityStream agreed to merge with Software Acquisition Group in a deal that will  value it at more than $500 million.

In the Desktop Metal deal, Trine partnered with HPS Investment Partners, a global credit investment firm with over $60 billion in assets under management. After the deal closes, expected in the fourth quarter, the combined operating company will be named Desktop Metal, Inc. and will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol “DM.”

As part of the deal, Trine will contribute about $300 million, currently held in trust, and an additional $275 million will come in the form of private investment in public equity (PIPE) common stock from institutional investors, including Miller Value Partners, XN, Baron Capital Group, Chamath Palihapitiya, JB Straubel, and HPS Investment Partners. Desktop Metal’s existing shareholders will hold 74% of the new company after close. 

Hindery has a long history in the cable industry, serving as president of Tele-Communications Inc., CEO of AT&T Broadband and CEO of the YES Network, and has also been an investor in programming through InterMediaPartners. He will serve on Desktop Metal’s board of directors.

Desktop Metal is headed by Ric Fulop, its founder, chairman and CEO, and said it will use the proceeds from the deal to fund product development and “productive consolidation in the additive manufacturing industry.”

Desktop Metal said it has distribution in more than 60 countries and its products can be used in a wide array of industries including automotive, consumer products, industrial automation, medical devices, and aerospace & defense. According to Reuters, Desktop Metal has raised about $438 million from investors like BMW iVentures, Koch Disruptive Technologies and Ford Motor Co. and was valued at about $1.5 billion last year. 

“After evaluating more than 100 companies, we identified Desktop Metal as the most unique and compelling opportunity, a company that we believe is primed to be the leader in a rapidly growing industry thanks to their substantial technology moat, deep customer relationships across diverse end-markets, and impressive, recurring unit economics,” Hindery said in a press release. “Ric has put together an exceptional team and board of directors with whom we are excited to partner to create the only publicly traded pure-play Additive Manufacturing 2.0 company.”