On April 1st, Funai Electric Company of Japan announced that it will be acquiring Lexmark International’s inkjet-related technology and assets for approximately $100 million (approximately 9.5 billion yen). Once the transaction is completed, Funai will acquire more than 1,500 Lexmark inkjet patents, Lexmark’s inkjet-related research and development, Lexmark’s inkjet manufacturing facility in the Philippines (Lexmark International Philippines, Inc.), and other inkjet-related technologies and assets. Lexmark announced it was exiting the inkjet business in August 2012 – see here for more.
Sale of the inkjet business is expected to be completed within the first half of 2013.
As an OEM manufacturer, Funai has manufactured inkjet hardware for Lexmark since 1997, and the companies have established a strong relationship over that time. Established in 1961, it’s headquartered in Osaka, Japan, and is listed in the Tokyo and Osaka Securities Exchange First Section. Among the products it manufactures are LCD TVs, computers, Blu-Ray disc players, and printers, and it has sales and marketing companies in Japan, Asia, Europe, and South America.
Once Funai acquires Lexmark’s inkjet business, it says it will be able to develop, manufacture and sell inkjet hardware as well as inkjet supplies. It also says the acquisition will enable it to launch new inkjet hardware and supplies under Funai’s own brands. It will develop and grow its inkjet printer business by introducing Funai’s own inkjet printers and supplies into the market. With Lexmark’s inkjet patents, manufacturing facilities, and research and development, it says it’ll be able to accelerate the expansion of its inkjet business.
For Lexmark customers and distributors, there will be no disruption of service or support, as customers and distributors will continue to work directly with Lexmark. Funai will become a manufacturer of Lexmark’s aftermarket inkjet supplies. Lexmark will continue to support its installed base of customers in the sale of aftermarket inkjet supplies and will continue to provide customer technical and warranty support.
An enthusiastic Funai President and CEO Tomonori Hayashi commented, “This transaction provides us with a crucial and tremendous opportunity to enhance our office solution business. Funai and Lexmark have developed a great partnership, and we are glad to take over Lexmark’s inkjet-related technology and assets. The acquisition of the inkjet-related technology and assets enables Funai to start and grow our own inkjet business. Funai will benefit from the strong inkjet business platform that Lexmark has established.”
Paul Rooke, Lexmark chairman and CEO, emphasized that sale of Lexmark’s inkjet business is part of Lexmark’s transition from a hardware- to a software-centric company: “As we continue our transition to becoming a leading end-to-end solutions provider, this transaction essentially completes our exit from the ownership of inkjet-related assets, although we will continue to support our existing customer base with the sale of inkjet supplies. Funai has been a trusted partner of Lexmark’s since 1997, and I am fully confident in Funai’s ability to deliver high-quality inkjet supplies for Lexmark.”