HP proves printers are still a relevant business as it buys the Samsung printer unit for $1.05 billion, an acquisition the companys says will "disrupt and reinvent" the copier industry.
The deal also covers some 6500 printing patents, as well as 1300 researchers and engineers making the Samsung printing team. Post-acquisition Samsung printing technologies will be folded within the HP product offering, such as the PageWide A3 MFP line. It also provides HP with the means of manufacturing own printing engines, a critical component making laser printers.
“When we became a separate company just 10 months ago, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries,” HP CEO Dion Weisler says. “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 does not reveal printer sales figures, but it classifies printers under consumer electronics, together with TVs, refridgerators and washing machines. Back in 2015 CE made just 4.7% of the company's operating profit, a far cry from the 38.4% and 48.4% respectively generated by smartphones and chips. As such, it comes to no surprise the S. Korean giant wants to streamline operations by dropping (relatively) poorly performing units.