Japanese consumer electronics firm Funai Electric takes on 1,500 inkjet patents as part of $100 million deal

Lexmark sells off inkjet technology

Lexmark has completed the sale of its inkjet print technology to Japanese firm Funai Electric for approximately $100 million.

Whilst remaining in the laser printing market, it signals a transition for Lexmark, which intends to move its focus towards higher value scanning technology and software.

The sale follows the firm’s announcement last year that it would withdraw from the inkjet market by 2013 at a cost of around 1,700 jobs.

Whilst focusing on new technologies, the sale is expected to save Lexmark close to $95 million per year.

The move is widely viewed as the right one for Lexmark, which flagged behind its competitors in the inkjet market, was the likes of HP, Canon and Epson accounted for almost 90 per cent of total sales worldwide.

In recent months, the brand has acquired a host of companies, such as BDGD Enterprise and Nolij Corporation, which deal with data capture, web based document imaging and workflow software.

Lexmark CEO and chairman, Paul Rooke summarised the sale as a necessary transition, which allows the firm to focus its efforts on new technologies.

"As we continue our transition to becoming a leading end-to-end solutions provider, this transaction essentially completes our exit from the ownership of inkjet-related assets, although we will continue to support our existing customer base with the sale of inkjet supplies," said Rooke.

Despite the sale, Lexmark will maintain support for its existing inkjet customers.

Consumer electronics firm Funai Electric, which has manufactured hardware for Lexmark since 1997 will now manufacture inkjet hardware under its own branding as it takes on close to 1,500 inkjet patents as part of the deal.

Printing image from Shutterstock

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