HP acquires Apogee
On the 1st August 2018, HP Inc signed a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of Apogee.
The UK based office equipment dealer claims to be Europe’s largest independent provider of print outsourced services and document and process technology. The transaction values Apogee as of closing at GBP380m
This acquisition is a continuation of HP’s strategy to expand its contractual sales strategy and disrupt the A3 office market which began with HP’s acquisition of Samsung Printing in September 2016. Since that time, HP has been recruiting selective office equipment dealers that offer higher margin services, to its partner program across the globe.
Apogee, is quite unique in the industry thanks to an aggressive acquisition strategy the past few years. Supported by Equistone Partners Europe, they began with the acquisition of Balreed Digitec group in 2015. Apogee then completed further acquisitions of dealerships in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and of course the UK’s only mega dealer Danwood in 2017 to get to its impressive market value today. With more than 1000 employees and a machine base that is mostly under contract, as well as a broad base of Managed services far more extensive that most OEDs, helped by the acquisition of the reprographics services company CityDocs in 2016, Apogee was an attractive target. According to HP, the acquisition of Apogee is complementary to the recruiting of further resellers and Apogee is not planned to be integrated. Instead it will be an independent subsidiary of HP Print.
HP has led the transactional printing business for many years but has more recently focussed its efforts on extending its reach in the contractual printing business. This was legacy for most of the A3 copier business and HP has always eyed the annuity streams from technical service and supplies with some reverence. The total market opportunity has however expanded exponentially in past years as the range of solutions and services has extended way beyond print. In acquiring Apogee, HP not only has immediate access to an estimated 110,000 machines in field, of which about 20% are HP devices but also to a small base in Germany and a broader range of managed services offerings than most typical office equipment dealers.
Since the Samsung acquisition, many industry eyes have been cautiously watching HP’s progress to cut into the A3 business. There have been whispers that this has not been happening fast enough for HP and this most recent activity will be used to give them a push start.
This is a significant move for HP that will certainly make the industry, old and new school sit up and look. Apart from the threat to their own machines in field and go-to-market points, other vendors will have to begin to take HP more seriously.