This Week in Imaging: Silver Lining for Lexmark with Apex Acquisition? More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Lexmark International’s $3.6 billion leveraged acquisition by China’s Apex Technology, maker of ink and toner printer cartridges, and a consortium of investors is now official, and along with that, the departure of Paul Rooke as Lexmark CEO, with Daniel Reeder, Lexmark CFO, succeeding him. Additionally, Lexmark’s Enterprise Software group will be separated from Lexmark and re-branded as Kofax, a well-known brand in the industry.

While we don’t have a crystal ball to peer into, there may be a lot of upside to this deal for Lexmark printers and copier/MFPs. While office-based printing has been slowly declining in Lexmark’s main markets – the North America and Western Europe – a fact reflected in the company’s struggling quarters for the last several years – the word is that printing (and fax) are doing quite well in China and Asia (Japan, in particular, seems to have a particular love for fax machines – see here and here for instance.)

In these regions, paper – not email and digital documents – still maintain an air of authority. The chart below shows that while overall, global printer sales are declining, printer sales in Asia-Pacific are far greater than printer sales in Lexmark’s core market, the United States:

asia-pacific-sales

The silver lining in the Lexmark sale clearly seems to be much greater access to these Asian markets where the printed document appears to be much more valued than in the United States.

The downside? While some people mistakenly believe that printers and MFPs use “primitive technology” (think printers and MFPs of about 10 years ago), Lexmark and other brands of smart MFPs and printers certainly don’t, and, as with other printers and MFPs, may, in some instances, be vulnerable to hacking (see the Lexmark employees’ letter here for more). With Lexmark’s acquisition by a company headquartered in the People’s Republic of China – which has historically had uneasy relations with the United States – that might mean that the U.S. government (a sector where Lexmark has been particularly strong) might simply opt for U.S.-based alternatives such as HP Inc. and Xerox, both of which have put particularly strong emphasis on security.

Office-Imaging News

  • Samsung Lays Out Road Map for Merging Printing Solutions Group with HP Inc. – Read more here.
  • It’s Official: Lexmark Acquired by Apex and Investors; Reeder Named CEO – Read more here.
  • Xerox Launches ‘Healthcare Copier/MFPs’ Optimized for Healthcare with Kno2 Document-Exchange Cloud Service – Read more here.
  • Copier Careers: Average Compensation for Sales Reps is $116,934 – Read more here.
  • Combination Desktop Lamp and Desktop Scanner Launches on Kickstarter – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

  • Epson Files Breach-of-Agreement Complaint Nano Over Ink-Cartridge Patent Infringement – Read more here.

People News

  • Sharp Promotes Coffey, Jannelli to Associate VP Positions – Read more here.

Financial News

  • Kodak Posts Third-Quarter Earnings of $12 Million – Read more here.

Other News

  • Epson Raids Two Ink-Cartridge Counterfeiters in India – Read more here.
  • Ricoh Fires Two Executives in Wake of Ricoh India Accounting-Fraud Scandal – Read more here.
  • Xerox Warns Users to Beware of Fake, Clone Toner Cartridges – Read more here.

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November 2016

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