Apogee – Europe’s largest print provider – has itself snapped up four companies in a venture capital-fuelled growth drive since 2016.
The sale of print services provider Apogee to printing giant HP Inc has been finalised following agreements made earlier this year.
The deal is valued at £380 million.
Apogee provides companies with printing, scanning, and workflow solutions from global brands, including Riccoh, Canon, and Xerox, as well as HP.
Private equity firm Equistone took a majority share in Maidstone-headquartered Apogee in September 2016 for £185 million.
Since then, Apogee has acquired Clark Office Solutions, CityDocs, Danwood Group, and Germany-based Kopiervertrieb Rhein-Ruhr GmbH.
Apogee grew its turnover to £250 million this year and now employs more than 1,000 staff over 25 office locations in the UK and Europe.
Apogee will continue to operate as an independent provider and be led by its joint CEOs, Jason Collins and Robin Stanton-Gleaves.
Collins said the acquisition puts Apogee in a strong position to accelerate its growth further.
“We have worked closely with our equity partners to execute on opportunities that have considerably strengthened our position in the UK and continental European markets.”
“It has been a really successful partnership with Equistone and the acquisition is recognition of their support and the commitment and professionalism of the whole team at Apogee.”
“It is testament to the strength of the team that Apogee caught the eye of one of the largest tech companies in the world and we are confident Apogee will continue to prosper under ownership of the enlarged group,” added Equistone’s Andrew Backen.
European regulators cleared the HP Apogee deal last month, having said that it found the overlap of the companies’ activities on the market for the supply of regular format printers “very limited” and that a “number of strong players” would remain in the market post-merger.
HP Apogee Will “Disrupt $55B A3 Copier Market”
When announced in August, HP said the acquisition will help it “disrupt the $55 billion A3 copier market and build on its printing strategy”.
HP’s Enrique Lores, President, Imaging & Printing said in a conference call [pdf transcript] that it is an attempt to tap a “profit pool in small companies”, adding that the company might make more acquisitions.
The acquisition comes as HP Inc ramps up its printing strategy in the UK – both in 3D printing and home and office printing.
Hewlett-Packard split into two companies — Hewlett Packard Enterprise, focused on enterprise products and services, and printing-focused HP Inc — in 2015.
The latter completed the purchase of Samsung’s printer business for just over $1 billion earlier this year, bringing HP patents, staff, and both software and hardware assets.
HP Inc UK MD George Brasher told Computer Business Review that the purchase of Samsung software is increasingly important as the printer as a device evolves.
“What Samsung gave us was the ability to purchase that base printing technology, not just hardware, but all the solution architecture that came around that.
“It’s really about a connected device that sits on the network, it’s got to print great, but it’s also got to have security that sits around it and it’s got to have a level of solutions so it integrates with business processes.”