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article imageHP to buy Samsung's printer business for $1.05 billion

By James Walker     Sep 12, 2016 in Technology
HP has announced it is buying Samsung's printer business in a deal valued at over $1 billion. The U.S. computing giant will use Samsung's printers and copiers to drive innovation in the stagnant industry and increase its own market share in Asian markets.
HP will gain access to Samsung's printing products, technology and patents under the terms of the acquisition. In a statement, the company said it hopes to use the assets to "disrupt and reinvent" the copier industry, a field worth $55 billion. Samsung's printing business will join HP Inc., a company formed when Hewlett-Packard split into two last year.
Samsung made $1.4 billion in revenue last year from its printing technology. It focuses primarily on laser printers, copiers and multi-function peripherals (MFPs). The company employs over 1,300 laser-printing experts and holds over 6,500 printing patents.
HP said it is buying the business in an attempt to breathe new life into printers and copiers, an industry which has grown increasingly stagnant in recent years. The company expressed exasperation at the current state of affairs, describing copiers as "outdated, complicated machines." It said they frustrate customers by requiring frequent consumable part replacements and costly maintenance agreements.
The statement hints at HP's plans for the future, suggesting it intends to use Samsung's technology to help it build more efficient and longer-lasting printers. It could help to end the issues caused by existing laser printers where paper, toner and internal components can quickly require attention.
HP also sees the acquisition as a route to gaining a presence in the copier industry. It has already entered the 3D printing and manufacturing scenes but has largely ignored the laser and copier space. Purchasing Samsung's existing laser printers and patents will give it a head-start when developing new products. It hopes to use the advantage to reintroduce innovation to printing technology.
"When we became a separate company just 10 months ago, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries," said Dion Weisler, president and CEO of HP. "We are doing this with 3D printing and the disruption of the $12 trillion traditional manufacturing industry, and now we are going after the $55 billion copier space. The acquisition of Samsung's printer business allows us to deliver print innovation and create entirely new business opportunities with far better efficiency, security, and economics for customers."
Samsung currently employs 6,000 people worldwide in its printer business. HP hasn't disclosed how many positions it will retain after the acquisition. However, the company said that the deal will lead to "cost synergies." The terminology implies that layoffs are on the way, although the severity hasn’t yet been revealed.
HP expects the acquisition to be complete within the next year. Fortune reports that the company is planning to unveil a new range of printers and copiers today that incorporates some of Samsung's technology, including its laser and toner systems. HP already has an existing relationship with Canon that is not thought to be impacted by the new deal with Samsung.
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