European Commission Approves HP Inc.’s Acquisition of Apogee

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Apogee, which is based in the U.K., by HP Inc.

The EC noted that Apogee provides managed print services to business users primarily in the U.K., while  HP is active in the manufacturing and sales of electronic devices, including personal computers and printers.

The commission found that the overlap of the companies’ activities on the market for regular-format printers was very limited and that a number of strong players would remain in the market after the merger.

The commission also investigated the relationship between the downstream market for the supply of managed print services and the upstream markets for the supply of large and regular format printers. It concluded that the merged entity would not have the ability, or incentive, to shut out competing suppliers of these products, as there are many alternative players at both levels.

HP Inc. announced its proposed acquisition of Apogee in August, and expects to complete the deal by the end of this year.

Apogee is said to be Europe’s largest independent provider of print, outsourced services, and document and process technology. The transaction values Apogee at £380M, or  approximately $500 million.

HP says the acquisition will further its plan to disrupt the $55 billion A3 copier/MFP market and builds on its printing strategy to: enhance its A3 and A4 product portfolio; build differentiated solutions and tools to expand its managed print services (MPS); and invest in its direct and indirect go-to-market (GTM) capabilities. This includes the selective acquisition of office-equipment dealers that provide access to increased profit pools from higher-margin services.

Apogee sells office-equipment sourced from Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung Ricoh, Xerox, Kyocera, and Konica Minolta.

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