Computer Dealer News

Lexmark bought by Chinese consortium for $3.6 billion

Shenzhen, China may not yet be a household name, but it will be very soon.

The city, just north of Hong Kong along China’s southern coastline, is perhaps better known as the country’s Silicon Valley, what with headquarters of Tencent, ZTE, TP-Link and Huawei.

Now, it has snatched up Lexmark.

Shenzhen-based Apex Technology, whose business is primarily selling printer cartridges and chips, is leading a consortium that will be purchasing Lexmark for $3.6 billion.

The consortium also includes PAG Asia Capital, one of Asia’s largest private equity firms and Legend Capital, an associate of Lenovo’s biggest shareholder Legend Holding.

Printing companies have struggled in recent years as the enterprise shifts towards digitization.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Lexmark’s revenues have been declining since at least 2011, with double-digit drops in 2012 and 2015.

Companies such as HP and most recently Xerox have responded by splitting off enterprise services from printing hardware.

Lexmark is also no stranger to Apex. The two companies have previously been in dispute over intellectual property, with Lexmark claiming its now-suitor infringed at least 15 patents.

This is the second multi-billion dollar sale of a tech giant to Chinese buyers this year. In February, Ingram Micro, the world’s largest distributor sold to HNA Group of China for more than $90 billion.

Lexmark’s headquarters will remain in Lexington, Kentucky.