Might the Xerox bid to buy HP be the start of an industry M&A shake-up?

Merger Opportunity

I'm sitting here wondering if the Xerox bid to buy HP for $30bn is possibly just the first move in a complete mergers and acquisitions shake-up of wide-format and commercial inkjet printing? Let's speculate...

So Xerox have had a 50 year long relationship with Fujifilm in Asia, a relationship that has finally unwound this week. HP has a large presence in Asia and can give Xerox that sales organisation across the region. So could Roland DG or Mimaki of course, and for a lot less spend, but it's less likely they would be keen to sell to an American business.

Speculating further, then of course if Xerox do successfully buy HP, then in Japan - who as a nation have recently outmuscled even China in their own $191bn mergers and acquisitions spending spree, and with Japanese companies in possession of more than $890 billion in cash, that spending spree is likely to continue - it's not entirely inconceivable that we might see Fujifilm, or Ricoh, or Canon or even Epson respond with attempted acquisitions of their own; Roland DG or Mimaki are just two possibilities for acquisitions made to 'correct' the obvious anomaly of having comparatively small businesses holding positions of market dominance - certainly in relation to their size - in the wide-format and commercial print market.

Surely it's only a matter of time before the market is entirely restructured by such M&A activity - and OEM system integration businesses could be among the first to go.

When the dust settles at some indeterminate time in the future, you can probably assume that the only manufacturers left standing will be those that own their own printhead technology.

Did someone just say "Quick, buy Xaar!".