This Week in Imaging: Poor Boy Gets Rich Girl, Apex Speaks Out on Lexmark Acquisition

RTMedia reports that last week in Beijing, China, executives at Lexmark International and Apex Technology, as well as Chinese government officials and media, met to mark the acquisition of Lexmark by Apex, PAG Asia Capital, and Legend Capital for $3.9 billion.

Jackson Wang, chairman of Apex, remarked that while some have said Apex’s acquisition of Lexmark is akin to a snake swallowing an elephant, “…I prefer to say it is a marriage. Apex Technology is a poor young man and Lexmark is a beautiful and successful woman.”

Analogies aside, Lexmark CEO David Reeder remarked that China’s $3 billion market “…is now open to Lexmark and will help propel the Apex-Lexmark union to become the premier imaging company in the world.”

Apex also revealed that Pantum – a China-based brand of low-cost laser printers – will focus on the lower-end small and mid-size business and home-office market, while Lexmark will focus more on the high-end market. The companies are also said to “believe that no longer will the Chinese be dominated by the foreign printer brands, as they are expecting the twin brands to be the top brands in China by 2020.” (Note that Zhuhai Seine, the largest shareholder of Apex, with about 70 percent of Apex’s shares, also controls Pantum International, China’s first marketer of a Chinese-branded printer. Apex’s Wang is also CEO of Pantum).

According to China Daily, Wang also said at the Beijing press conference that Lexmark’s manufacturing and purchasing of raw materials will be “partially transferred to China to optimize the industry chain and reduce production costs.”

As far as the news above is concerned, we’d like to add that Lexmark also has a toner plant in Boulder, Colorado, that was originally built by former parent IBM in 1967 (Lexmark was spun off from IBM in 1991). That plant produces 5 million kgs of toner per year and Lexmark has stated that it is the only such plant in the United States that both develops and manufactures toner products.

So now Apex owns a toner plant and its accompanying R&D arm. Lexmark and Pantum printers need toner. Remanufacturing partners need toner. We wonder how much of a boon this toner plant will be for Apex, and it if will remain in Boulder.

Office-Imaging News

  • Samsung Provides More Key Info on HP’s Acquisition of its Printing Solutions Group – Read more here.
  • Xerox Rolls Out Self-Serve Copier/MFPs at Staples – Read more here.
  • New Fujitsu SP-1425 Desktop Document Scanner Designed for Moving Paper to Digital Quickly and Easily – Read more here.
  • New High-Volume A3 MFPs from KYOCERA, TASKalfa 8052ci Color Series, TASKalfa 8002i Series – Read more here.
  • Two New Desktop Document Scanners from Epson, the WorkForce ES-400, WorkForce ES-500W – Read more here.
  • Katun Launches ‘Marketplace’ for Buying and Selling Used MFP/Copiers and Printers – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

  • Samsung Wins Toner-Cartridge Patent-Infringement Lawsuit in The Netherlands – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • Epson Opens Two New Research Centers for Digital Inkjet Printing on Textiles – Read more here.

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