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Thursday, 04 April 2013 09:04

Lexmark finds buyer for inkjet tech

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Lexmark has agreed to sell its inkjet-related physical and intellectual assets to a company that has been a supplier for more than 15 years.

Lexmark, created when IBM divested its printing business in 1991, has in recent years been moving away from hardware.

Since 2010 it has acquired a number of software businesses (including Australian search company ISYS) as part of a strategy to move towards imaging and software solutions.

In 2012, Lexmark announced it would save US$95 million a year by ceasing to develop and sell inkjet hardware, and by closing its inkjet supplies factory in the Philippines. At the time company officials said the sale of its inkjet technology was being 'explored'.

It has now been announced that Japan-based Funai will acquire Lexmark's inkjet-related technology and assets (including the Philippines factory) for approximately US100 million.

The deal includes more than 1,500 patents, R&D assets, and ownership of Lexmark International (Philippines).

Funai will use the acquisition to introduce its own brand of inkjet printers and supplies. The company has been an OEM manufacturer for Lexmark since 1997, and will manufacture the inkjet supplies that Lexmark will continue to sell.

Lexmark will continue to provide warranty and technical support to its inkjet customers.

"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," said Lexmark chairman and CEO Paul Rooke.

Funai president and CEO Tomonori Hayashi said "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 recently acquired Philips lifestyle entertainment business (video, home and car audio, DECT phones, etc)


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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