MGI, based in Paris, said the takeover positioned it in a “new high-growth market” that is forecast to be worth $300bn in a few years.
Ceradrop in Limoges was launched seven years ago by members of the noted laboratory Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique.
It develops kit for printing 2D and 3D-ceramic and organic electronic components with high added-value. These include antennas, organic light emitting diode display screens, electronic chip cards, solar cells, RFID tags, and biomedical sensors.
Customers include advanced scientific laboratories and industrial groups such as Gemalto, DisaSolar and Thales, as well as American universities such as Northwestern.
An important high-growth market includes printed displays for the industrial and third generation printed solar panels.
The team of 15 doctors, engineers and technicians is currently working on printed fuel cells using inkjets and a project involving printed ceramic magnetic components.
The printed electronics’ market, worth $9.4bn in 2012, is forecast to grow to more than $40bn in 2020 and $300bn by 2030.
MGI vice president for marketing Kevin Abergel said: “We are still under blackout on acquisition costs, but we will help push Ceradrop to the next level: they do inkjets; we do inkjets, but the two are completely different. Printed electronics is in the early stages of commercial viability.
“We want to integrate a lot of the cool stuff they are doing into our machines – this is about bringing their technology into the graphic arts and seeing how we can get creative in different ways.”
His uncle, MGI president Edmond Abergel, said: “With the explosion of printed electronics and 3D-printing, new opportunities are available. With the Ceradrop team we can establish a centre of excellence with exceptional and global expertise in the field of inkjet.
“Integrating Ceradrop will enable us not only to accelerate innovation in our current markets but also to position ourselves in these new markets for printed electronics and 3D-printing, which has been widely forecast to become mass market in the next five years.”