September 12, 2016
The Recycler reported late last week that Samsung was mulling over a $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion) sale of its printer business to HP Inc, after the Seoul Economic Daily outlined Samsung was “considering selling its printer business” to HP Inc as it “shifts focus to its core businesses”. The Korean paper cited an “unnamed senior Samsung source”, and added that the OEM would “likely announce a decision on the potential sale by next week”.
Fortune has now reported that HP Inc has confirmed it will buy the printing business from Samsung for $1.05 billion, and will “inherit 6,000 Samsung employees once the deal closes”, which the OEM expects “will be within 12 months”. Enrique Lores, HP Inc’s President of Imaging and Printing, added that “of those 6,000 employees, nearly 2,000 are research and development engineers, 1,000 are sales and support staff, and the rest work in service and manufacturing”.
The news outlet added that with the acquisition, HP Inc “gets a big printing presence in Asia, as well as Samsung’s laser printing technology and around 6,500 printing technology patents”, and claimed that Samsung’s laser printing technology “will be crucial for HP Inc as it attempts to enter the copier machine market”, which “requires machines that can quickly print multiple copies”.
It also cited the “divestiture” from Samsung as being “part of a corporate overhaul […] to better focus on its core smartphone, television, and memory chip businesses”, having announced in 2013 that it would “concentrate on selling its printers and printing services to businesses, which the company believed was a better strategy than targeting consumers”. However, the OEM “does not disclose how much revenue its printing business generates”.
Despite this, recent IDC research showed that Samsung is fifth in terms of global printer shipments currently, with HP Inc “like many printer-focused companies” finding “weakening demand for its products as consumers and businesses continue to print less while shifting their attention to digital documents”. HP Inc does however still lead the “shrinking printer market” in terms of market share, and the deal will see it “eliminate one of its printer rivals and gain a possible boost in revenue”.
This would allow it to “offset declines in its printing business”, which has “dropped the past three quarters” since it split from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). HP Inc also plans to “debut a new line of copier machines” based on Samsung’s “underlying printing capabilities”, despite having a “partnership with Canon that lets HP use some of Canon’s own laser technology in more conventional printers and not copy machines”.
Lores noted that this acquisition “will not impact the relationship”, as HP Inc “shared its plans to acquire Samsung with Canon […] a few weeks ago”, and Canon “was supportive” of the deal. He also noted that had HP Inc not split with HPE, acquiring Samsung’s printer business “would have been much more difficult to execute”, with the new deal “proof point that the separation is really working”.