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HP boss opens up on Apogee buy

Vendor felt it had to swoop for the print specialist to ensure it did not fall into the hands of rivals

HP’s CEO has described buying print specialist Apogee as a defensive move to ensure that the firm was not snapped up by any of its rivals.

Apogee was acquired at the start of August in a move designed to give HP a firmer presence in the A3 market.

The deal was valued at £380m with Apogee having itself expanded through acquisition over the past four years to become one of Europe's largest provider of print managed services and document management technology.

Speaking at Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona Dion Weisler said that some of the contracts in the A3 market lasted for years and to have missed out on Apogee would have locked it out of those accounts for a long time.

“We came across Apogee which was for sale. It was effectively operated by a PE firm and was on the market. They were a great company,” he said.

“We looked at it and said if we don’t acquire them one of our competitors will. In this business you are talking about machines in the field and a contract it three, five or seven years in length. We would be yielding that machine in field population for a very long time,” added the HP boss.

“So, as much as a defensive move we acquired Apogee to help us learn and grow and to accelerate our scales [in at market] more quickly,” he said.

HP has made no secret of its ambition to grow in the A3 space and has valued the opportunity at around $5bn.

Dealing with the suggestion that the firm would be treated differently because it was under HP ownership Weisler said that it was being treated the same as any other partner.

“They get the same terms and conditions as our large partners around the HP universe, no special treatment. They have their own independent board, with an independent director on it,” he added.

He said that partners would find that the commitment to push business through the channel would not diminish and 87% currently went via resellers.

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