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Xerox sells Wilsonville-based engineering division

Xerox was quick to reassure the public that it intends to remain in Wilsonville following the sale of the company’s product design, engineering and chemistry group to 3D Systems.

The $32.5 million deal was announced Dec. 18 amidst a great deal of publicity and speculation surrounding the company’s intentions in Oregon. But company spokesman Bill McKee said that the 100 or so engineers affected by the sale would not only continue to work in Wilsonville, but in the same buildings.

“It enhances a 17-year relationship with 3D that includes providing them with print heads,” McKee said. “The sale solidifies and builds for further collaboration.”

3D Systems makes three-dimensional printers that allow users to create prototypes and real parts made of plastic, ceramics and other elements. The two companies have developed a number of products during a 15-year partnership, including 3D’s popular ProJet series printers.

Following the announcement of the sale, 3D Systems executives also were upbeat about the company’s latest acquisition, highlighting their long-time partnership with Xerox in developing products for both companies. 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental emphasized that his company intends to continue working with Xerox — in Wilsonville.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with an innovative partner of the caliber of Xerox,” Reichental said, “and expect that acquiring some of the Xerox Wilsonville engineering team, together with their state-of the-art development labs and selected licensed IP (internet protocol), will catapult our 3-D printers’ development and manufacturing capabilities forward.”

Under terms of the deal, about 100 Xerox engineers and contractors will become part of 3D Systems’ global research and development division. Those employees will continue to work in Wilsonville in a new 3D Systems owned and operated facility in buildings 60 and 61 on the Xerox campus.

Xerox currently has around 3,000 employees in Oregon. The company shuttered call centers in Coos Bay and North Bend last May, shedding more than 300 jobs in the process, as part of a company-wide transition away from printing and toward business services. The 3D Systems sale, Xerox President of Strategic Growth Kevin Warren said, is part of a continuing effort to “evolve our business model.”

“This deal takes advantage of Xerox’s world-class capabilities and expands our relationship with 3D Systems in the exciting and dynamic 3-D printing industry,” Warren said in a press release. “It emphasizes how we are leveraging our expertise while we continue to evolve our business model and pursue strategic growth opportunities.”

The sale is also the second significant move by Xerox in recent months to divest itself of portions of its Wilsonville campus, where more than 1,000 people still work. While the latter will bring in lease revenue for two sizable buildings, a third warehouse building also was recently included in the city of Wilsonville’s tax increment financing zone development scheme.

The zones cover single properties and allow the owner to apply for significant property tax breaks for manufacturing businesses that invest in those properties and create above-average wage jobs.



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