HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) has announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Samsung’s printing business in a deal worth $1.05 billion. With the acquisition, HP gets Samsung’s laser printing technology and around 6,500 printing technology patents. The sale is expected to take place after Samsung’s printer business completes its spinoff on November 1 and is expected to close within the next 12 months.
HP has agreed to acquire a 100 percent stake in the spun-out unit, as well as its overseas assets. As part of the deal, Samsung will make an equity investment in HP of $100 million to $300 million through open-market purchases. HP will inherit 6,000 Samsung employees once the deal closes, including nearly 2,000 research and development engineers, 1,000 sales and support staff, and the rest in service and manufacturing. HP will also gain production facilities in China and 50 sales offices globally.
Reports emerged last week that Samsung was considering selling its printer business to better focus on its core smartphone, television, and memory chip businesses. Samsung does not disclose how much revenue its printing business generates. The deal will give HP a big printing presence in Asia. Samsung will continue to sell printers in Korea under the Samsung brand, but they will be sourced from HP. HP also plans to debut a new line of copier machines based on some of Samsung’s underlying printing capabilities.
HP and other printer-focused companies have seen weakening demand for its products in recent years. Consumers and businesses are printing less while shifting their attention to digital documents. Worldwide shipments of printers declined 10.6 percent in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to data from the International Data Corporation.
HP would eliminate one of its printer rivals by acquiring Samsung’s printing business. HP leads the printer market with 36 percent market share. HP reported that 8,385,014 machines shipped in the first quarter, an 18.6 percent drop from the same period the previous year. Canon is the second-biggest printer company by shipments, followed by Epson, Brother, and Samsung. Samsung has a 4 percent share of the market.