Nauticus Robotics, a prominent developer of autonomous robots and vehicles for offshore data collection and intervention, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire 3D at Depth. The latter specializes in commercial subsea laser LiDAR (Light Detection and Range) inspection and data services. The all-stock transaction is valued at approximately $34 million, excluding some purchase price adjustments, and includes an assumption of debt.
The acquisition is in line with Nauticus’ efforts to strengthen its position in autonomous underwater operations, particularly in sensor integration, data collection, and analysis. It also aims to broaden its market reach and enhance the utilization of its fleet assets.
Nicolaus Radford, Nauticus’ Founder and CEO, commented on the significance of the acquisition, stating the integration of 3D's capabilities would elevate autonomous vehicles' roles in the offshore industry. Radford emphasized that such a move would allow Nauticus to tap into the potential of data acquisition and analytics for subsea operations.
Key highlights of the acquisition include:
- Market Penetration: Leveraging 3D's extensive customer base, including many firms already in Nauticus’ pipeline, the acquisition aims to speed up commercial market entry.
- Intellectual Property: Nauticus will acquire 11 patents from 3D, enhancing its position in underwater optical measurements and inspection. An additional 19 patents are pending.
- Expanded Market Access: With 3D's laser LiDAR gaining traction among third-party operators, Nauticus anticipates accessing a broader segment of the offshore market.
- Operational Expertise: As Nauticus plans to scale its offshore services in 2024, 3D's experience, spanning 850 commercial projects across six continents, is poised to enrich Nauticus’ existing capabilities.
- Financial Impact: The deal is projected to have a positive impact on Nauticus' 2024 financial metrics. In 2022, 3D reported a revenue of $9.8 million with a gross profit margin surpassing 60%.
3D at Depth, established in 2009, is recognized for its innovative approach in underwater laser LiDAR technology, which enables clients to efficiently monitor and evaluate submerged assets.
Carl Embry, founder and CEO of 3D at Depth, expressed his optimism about the merger, highlighting the potential benefits for clients in the subsea market, especially those seeking more efficient and cost-effective subsea services.
According to the agreement terms, 3D shareholders will receive roughly 9.9326 shares of Nauticus common stock for each of their 3D shares. This values the aggregate equity at around $34 million, while Nauticus will also assume around $4.1 million of 3D's debt. The acquisition is expected to finalize in the fourth quarter of 2023, with 3D continuing its operations as a division within Nauticus.
The boards of both entities have unanimously greenlit the transaction, pending approval from their respective stockholders and meeting customary closing conditions.