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Samsung Considers Sale of Printer Unit to HP for $1.8 Billion

The world's largest smartphone maker is struggling in the printer space and may shed the business to focus on core operations, a report says.

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Samsung Electronics reportedly is on the verge of selling its printing business to HP Inc. for $1.8 billion.

The company—part of the larger Samsung Group company—is continuing to shed businesses as it looks to put more resources and effort into such core operations as smartphones, televisions, mobile processors and memory chips. Printers don't fit into that category, and Samsung is considering selling its printer business to HP, according to Reuters, which cited a Seoul Economic Daily report.

According to an unnamed senior Samsung source, a decision on the potential sale of the printer business likely will be announced next week. Samsung officials declined to comment on the possible sale.

HP is the dominant player in the global market for hardcopy peripherals, which include such systems as single-function and multifunctional printers and single-function digital copiers, according to market research firm IDC. In a report last month, IDC analysts reported that HP in the second quarter held 36.6 percent of the market, a drop from the 40.8 percent share it held during the same period in 2015.

HP was followed by Canon, Epsom and Brother. Samsung was in fifth, with 4 percent of the market. In the second-quarter 2015, the company's market share was 4.2 percent. Among the top five vendors, only Canon and Epsom saw an increase in shipments year over year. HP's fell by 13.7 percent, while Samsung's dropped 8.9 percent.

Samsung—the world's top smartphone maker with 22.4 percent of what has become a flat market, according to IDC—is looking to focus more on its core businesses. For example, Samsung Electronics in 2014 shut down its LED lighting business outside of its home country of South Korea.

HP Inc. was created in November 2015 when Hewlett-Packard split in two, creating HP (for selling PCs and printers) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which focuses on enterprise IT solutions. In the company's most recent financial quarter, HP officials in August reported that overall printing revenue fell 14 percent from the same period in 2015, with hardware sales falling 10 percent and, within that, commercial hardware unit dropping 2 percent. Consumer hardware sales fell 14 percent, while revenue from supplies declined 18 percent.