Chinese Group to Acquire Lexmark for $3.6B

The printer company had been exploring strategic alternatives as it struggled with the digitalization of the workplace.
Katie Kuehner-HebertApril 21, 2016

After a lengthy search, printer maker Lexmark International has found a buyer, agreeing to be acquired and taken private by a Chinese-led consortium for $3.6 billion.

The buyers include China’s Apex Technology, which makes ink cartridge chips, PAG Asia Capital, one of Asia’s largest private equity firms, and Legend Capital Management. They are paying $40.50 per Lexmark share, a 17% premium to Tuesday’s closing price.

On news of the deal, the stock jumped 12% to $38.84 in after-hours trading Tuesday.

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Lexmark hired Goldman Sachs in October to to explore strategic alternatives including a possible sale. Like other printer makers, it has struggled with a maturing hardware market amid the digitalization of the workplace.

“As part of the consortium, Lexmark will be able to reach the next level of growth and innovation, to the benefit of our customers, business partners and suppliers, faster than we could achieve on our own,” Lexmark’s CEO Paul Rooke said in a news release.

“With the consortium’s resources, we will be able to continue to invest in and grow the business to more fully penetrate the Asia Pacific market for hardware, software, and managed print services,” he added.

Apex Technology, founded in 2004, makes inkjet and laser cartridge components. “Apex could be granted a fresh revenue stream in the U.S. market, as well as access to Lexmark’s current enterprise clients,” ZDNet said.

The company’s chairman, Jackson Wang, said Lexmark would be a “tremendous cultural fit” with his own company.

“Apex has traditionally been successful in emerging markets and in cost-effective production,” he said. “We are excited to work alongside Lexmark as it continues to invest in advanced technologies and solutions to best serve its customers and business partners while simultaneously pursuing additional untapped opportunities for future growth.”

The deal is subject to approval by Lexmark shareholders; regulatory approvals in the U.S., China, and certain other foreign jurisdictions; and other customary closing conditions.