Another quake has rocked the document imaging landscape, and this time nascent HP Inc. is at the epicenter. The company has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s printer business in a deal valued at just north of $1 billion. This news comes in the same 12-month period as the split of the former Hewlett Packard Co. into HP, Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the announced sale of Lexmark to a Chinese consortium Apex, and the pending breakup of Xerox Corp. into separate companies.
The deal heralds an aggressive start for the HP, Inc., which has barely 10 months under its belt as a standalone entity. For HP, one main draw in purchasing Samsung is to bring that company’s MultiXpress 7 (MX7) family of A3 devices into the HP fold. “Samsung has built a formidable portfolio of A3 MFPs that deliver the performance of copiers with the power, simplicity, reliability and ease-of-use of printers and with as few as seven replaceable parts,” HP said in a statement. Indeed, the monochrome K7600 series and color X7600 series have garnered Pick awards from the analysts at BLI.
The purchase, which is expected to close before the end of HP’s 2017 fiscal year, was announced just ahead of HP’s Global Partner Conference in Boston. “We believe there is a lot of change in the industry right now,” said Dion Weisler, President and CEO of HP. “When we became a separate company, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries. We are doing this with 3D printing and the disruption of the $12 trillion traditional manufacturing industry, and now we are going after the $55 billion copier space.”
What all this will mean for Samsung partner resellers over the long run is still unclear, but according to Enrique Lores, President, Imaging Printing and Solutions at HP, the company intends to maintain and support the Samsung brand for the next two years or so before rolling the products into the HP brand. Asked about the Samsung software portfolio—which includes the award-winning Samsung Printing App Center, suites such as Samsung Business Core Document Management and Samsung Business Core Output Management, and the PrinterOn mobile printing platform—Lores indicated that ability to connect to the cloud is one of the greatest strengths of Samsung’s solutions, and that HP intends to begin working on the implementation of the software to the HP brand as soon as the acquisition is complete.
The move raises questions about what this all could means for the longstanding relationship HP and Canon have enjoyed, with Canon providing laser engines for HP products over the years. In the statement, HP noted that the deal stands to strengthen the company’s laser offerings, which will benefit both partners. “HP and Canon have long discussed print innovation to create customer value in business printing and in the growing MPS market,” noted Canon CEO, Fujio Mitarai. “This transaction will further evolve our collaboration and bring about growth for both of our companies.”