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Canon or Ricoh to buy Lexmark’s hardware?

February 19, 2016

Sources have claimed that LexmaLexmarknewlogosignrk has “separately received interest” from both Canon and Ricoh to buy its hardware unit, including its printing divisions.

Industry Week reported on the rumours, which also include that private equity firms Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners are interested in buying Lexmark’s software division, after The Recycler had reported yesterday that the OEM has already “received initial bids” for the software unit.

The new speculation suggests, according to “people familiar with the situation”, that both Canon and Ricoh have approached Lexmark to buy the hardware unit of its business, with the OEM confirming in October last year that it was looking at “strategic alternatives” including being sold, while in January this year, it was rumoured that Konica Minolta was looking to buy Lexmark, and later that month, Lexmark was reportedly looking at “divesting its hardware and software assets”.

At that point, sources claimed Lexmark was considering “breaking up”, and “considering the possibility of divesting its hardware and software assets separately to revive interest”, and these latest rumours back this up, with Industry Week noting that the “strategic review” the OEM had undertaken means “splitting itself and selling its hardware and software divisions to different buyers”.

Lexmark would, it is said, “prefer to sell the entire company together”, but “no single buyer for both units has emerged”, sources pointed out, and if Thoma Bravo succeeds in buying the software business, it “plans to combine” it with “one of its portfolio companies, Hyland Software Inc.”. Representatives from Lexmark and Goldman Sachs – the firm assisting it with its strategic review – declined to comment, as did Canon, Ricoh and Thoma Bravo.

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