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Stratasys agrees to buy MakerBot for up to $604M

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stratasys Ltd. said Wednesday that it will buy MakerBot in a tie-up of 3D printer makers that the companies valued at up to $604 million.

Stratasys, based in Minneapolis and Israel, makes 3D printers used to produce models and prototypes, and MakerBot makes desktop 3D printers. Stratasys said it agreed to issue about 4.8 million shares of its stock to MakerBot. Based on Wednesday's closing price of $84.60 per share, the stock is worth about $403 million. Stratasys could issue 2.4 million additional shares, or about $201 million in stock, based on MakerBot's performance through the end of 2014.

MakerBot, based in New York, will keep its name, products and strategy as a unit of Stratasys. Stratasys said the purchase will add to its growth, but will reduce net income slightly in 2013 and add to it in 2014.

Stratasys bought Israeli competitor Objet in December, and said it has sold about 31,000 printers worldwide. It said MakerBot has sold about 22,000 desktop units since 2009.

Shares of Stratasys rose $1.54 to $86.14 in aftermarket trading.