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Asian investors ink US$3.6b deal to buy Lexmark

[SAN FRANCISCO] Lexmark International on Tuesday announced it has inked a deal to sell the US printer maker to a consortium of Asian investors for some US$3.6 billion.

If the transaction gets clearance from shareholders and regulators, it will take the publicly traded company private. The deal was expected to close in the second half of this year.

"This is an exciting transaction," said Lexmark chief executive Paul Rooke.

"With the consortium's resources, we will be able to continue to invest in and grow the business to more fully penetrate the Asia Pacific market for hardware, software and managed print services."

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The Lexmark board of directors unanimously approved the sale to a group led by Apex Technology, a China-based company that makes and distributes ink jet and laser cartridge components.

The consortium in included PAG Asia Capital, a buyout arm of one of Asia's largest private equity firms with funds, and Legend Capital of China.

The sale is the outcome of a strategic review announced by Lexmark late last year, with a stated aim of maximizing shareholder value in the company.

The deal put a US$40.50 price Lexmark shares, which were US$34.65 at the close of official trades on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Lexmark said that its headquarters will remain in the US state of Kentucky.

"We look forward to working with Lexmark's management team and focusing on expanding the business in the Asia Pacific region," said PAG chief executive Weijian Shan.