This Week in Imaging: A Vote of Confidence from Private Equity
Two significant news items hit the document-imaging world this week. First, was Electronics for Imaging’s announcement that it’s agreed to become acquired by private-equity firm Siris Capital for approximately $1.7 billion. Second, Eastman Kodak announced that it’s completed the sale of its Flexographic Packaging Division (FPD) to Montague Private Equity.
EFI solutions are primarily for high-volume office, as well as for production, and textile, and wide-format printing and imaging, while Kodak’s FPD markets commercial-printing press solutions.
However, private equity has also been investing in office-imaging companies. This year, private-equity firm Oval Partners continued its dealer-acquisition strategy, for example with the acquisition of Office Equipment earlier this month, and the acquisition of Shamrock Office Solutions in January. Companies acquired by Oval Partners become part of the Flex Technology Group, which includes MPS providers and dealers such as FlexPrint, ProCopy, LaserOptions, Marimon, and Caltronics Business Systems. While private-equity firms are often associated with leveraged buyouts, quick growth, and quick sale, in contrast, Oval Partners says it has the”long-term mentality, partner orientation, and time frame of a private holding company.”
While there are downsides to being acquired by some private-equity firms, in general, according to Inc., for instance, acquisition also means that investors see growth opportunities – in these case, not only the obvious growth opportunities in commercial and production printing, but also in office-imaging and printing.
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