HP Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire Apogee Corporation, a U.K. based office equipment dealer (OED) and Europe’s largest independent provider of print, outsourced services, and document and process technology. The transaction values Apogee as of closing at £380M.
This acquisition furthers HP’s plan to disrupt the $55 billion A3 copier market and builds on its printing strategy to: enhance its A3 and A4 product portfolio; build differentiated solutions and tools to expand its Managed Print Services (MPS); and invest in its direct and indirect go-to-market (GTM) capabilities. This includes the selective acquisition of OEDs that provide access to increased profit pools from higher margin services.
“The Apogee acquisition extends HP’s print leadership by boldly leveraging the industry shift to contractual sales as we aggressively pursue the A3 office market,” said Enrique Lores, president, HP Imaging and Print. “We’re augmenting our go-to-market and enhancing our ability to deliver the services necessary to win in the profitable contractual market. This deal complements our broader channel strategy and HP remains committed to building our business through our best-in-class partner program.”
HP has been investing in the A3 business with initiatives including the acquisition of Samsung’s printer business and the launch of a portfolio of superior A3 and A4 multi-function printers based on unique IP and value-added services and solutions.
The deal is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2018, pending regulatory review and other customary closing conditions.
Following the close, Apogee will operate as an independent subsidiary of HP, with a governing board comprised of HP and Apogee management. Apogee will have the same commercial relationship with HP as any other premium partner with access to the same tools and partner programs.
If one had any doubts as to HP’s intentions and seriousness about A3 this announcement ought to do it. The company is thinking globally when it comes to A3 and even though it’s got a long ways to go before achieving anything remotely like global dominance in the A3 space, this is a step in that direction. What does this mean for dealers and HP’s A3 competitors? No need to read between the lines or wonder if one plus one really does equal two because it shouldn’t come as any surprise if HP begins buying distribution here in the U.S. next. Let’s not be dismissive that a dealer entrenched with one of the “Big Six” OEMs would ever consider selling to HP. Just look at Apogee who markets A3 products from Konica Minolta, Kyocera, and Ricoh as well as production devices from Konica Minolta and Ricoh, and Canon wide format. Yes, it can happen here.
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