Worldwide demand for printers may be slipping, but HP Inc. is reaching for a bigger piece of the pie. HP announced an agreement with Samsung to buy the South Korean company's printer business for $1.05 billion, according to Fortune.
The deal, expected to be finalized within a year, benefits both companies. With the acquisition, HP gains market presence in Asia and access to Samsung printing technology. And by divesting itself of printing, Samsung can focus on its smartphone, television, and memory chip products.
Enrique Lores, HP's president of imaging and printing said, "Korea is going to be a very important site for the HP printing business going forward."
HP will gain 6,000 employees and about 6,500 printing technology patents. Of Samsung's printing business employees, almost 2,000 are research and development engineers, 1,000 work in sales and support, and the remainder are in manufacturing and service, according to Lores.
HP's global general manager of office printing, Tuan Tran, said HP wants to get into the copier market. High-speed printing of multiple copies is key in the copier business, and among Samsung's many printing patents are key laser printing technology patents HP will be able to use.
As reported by Fortune, an International Data Corporation report in May showed that worldwide printer shipments in the first quarter of 2016 declined by 10.6 percent from the same quarter last year. HP currently has 36 percent of the printer business, with Epson, Brother, and Samsung in second through fourth place, respectively. With the Samsung printing business acquisition, HP will eliminate one competitor while gaining a greater Asian market presence as well as the revenue from Samsung's business, which has targeted business customers rather than consumers.
Tran said HP is going to introduce a new line of copiers that utilize Samsung laser and toner technologies.
So while the printing business pie is getting smaller as more consumers and business shift to digital rather than printed documents, it's still a formidable space. Of the 23,114,918 printing devices that shipped in the first quarter 2016, according to the IDC report, HP's share was 8,385,014. Adding Samsung's business will give the Palo Alto-based company a larger share going forward.