Am I the only one who has been hearing the computerized melody of Pac-Man, circling around in the brain since last week? Perhaps not—and that loud gobbling sound you too may have been imagining no longer belongs just to GE as HP Inc. this morning announced that they will be acquiring the Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. printer business with a pricetag of $1.05 billion. With the deal poised to close in the next twelve months, history is being made on numerous levels, for both the electronics and 2D and 3D printing industries, and marking the largest print acquisition ever for HP Inc.
As the 3D printing revolution is all about disruption, the business and technology world will watch with avid interest to see how this affects a realm previously devoted only to the 2D. You certainly may be able to put your hands on a nearby inkjet copier quickly, but it’s common knowledge that the industry has been stagnating over many years, causing HP to make their previous historical statement that they would split into the two separate entities of HP Inc. and HP Enterprise. At the time, not only was the division of HP enormous news, but so was their obvious intent to enter the 3D printing industry in all seriousness, with the Sprout 3D ecosystem already on the ground and the Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer soon to be on the way for public consumption. Now, they are backing up their jets to consume a company that should allow them to refresh the copying industry.
“When we became a separate company just 10 months ago, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries,” said Dion Weisler, president and CEO of HP.
“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,” he added.
Energized with the power of Samsung that’s been built over decades, HP Inc. will now have access to an electronics portfolio that includes A3 MFPs, allowing for streamlined printers with as few parts for replacing as possible. The company also expects to make huge strides as they combine Samsung’s cloud technology with the HP next-generation PageWide technologies. With this integration, they expect to see great expansion too in device, document, and data security.
“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,” Weisler said.
HP Inc. will now have ownership too of an enormous amount of intellectual property, with over 6,500 printing patents. In terms of resources with personnel, the deal also means that they will bring on almost 1,300 researchers and engineers.
“HP Inc. has been a valued partner and customer of Samsung. We can now leverage our combined capacity for innovation to further enhance the value of our relationship,” said Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
And certainly not to be underestimated is the value of the Samsung partnership with Canon within the laser printing market, doubling up on the printing market and certainly leaving the door open for new products and processes of the future—as well as offering great new opportunity in the Asia Pacific and Japan markets. It’s hoped that customer service will strengthen even further, cashing in on a bond that formed over 30 years ago.
“HP and Canon have long discussed print innovation to create customer value in business printing and in the growing MPS market. This transaction will further evolve our collaboration and bring about growth for both of our companies,” said Fujio Mitarai, Chairman and CEO of Canon Inc.
There has been great speculation about the future of 3D printing and how some of the larger companies such as 3D Systems and Stratasys will fare as lukewarm financial reports have been produced over the past couple of years. Projections for the industry overall, however, have been more than positive as analysts see the 3D printing space doubling to $35 billion by 2020. And clearly, with consideration for the announcement just last week that GE is acquiring Arcam AB and SLM Solutions for $1.4 billion, it’s game on for the big guns of manufacturing and industry today within both 2D and 3D printing. Discuss further over in the HP Inc. to Acquire Samsung Electronics Printing Business forum at 3DPB.com.
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