IBM is looking for a buyer for its printer division, according to US reports, though no likely takers have yet come forward.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs is reported to be sounding out the buyers for IBM Printing Systems, which is estimated to generate revenue of $2 billion (#1.2 billion) per year and employs around 5,000 people worldwide.
Sharon McNee, analyst with Dataquest, said she was not surprised that IBM was looking for a buyer. "There have long been rumours that IBM is selling its printer arm," she noted. "It might be a sensible move for IBM to sell. Its distribution channel has been unable to keep up with competition in the market. This deal will happen sometime, and IBM is putting feelers out."
In 1991, IBM sold its desktop printer division to Clayton, a company which later became Lexmark, in order to concentrate on the high to midrange printers. In 1996 IBM re-entered the desktop printer market, but has had little success in the face of fierce competition from Xerox, HP and Lexmark, according McNee.
But McNee was more sceptical about the wisdom of selling the high-end printer range. "The high-end printers have done well. The competition will be pleased if IBM sells it off, and there are bound to be buyers," she said. "At the moment IBM is trying to get rid of everything that is not its core business, which is a good strategy. Kodak has been better off since it got out of the printer market."
McNee predicted that Genicom and Xerox would be likely buyers for IBM's printer business. However, she warned that the cost of the deal could be a stumbling block, as could US anti-trust laws.
An IBM spokesman declined to comment on the prospective sell-off.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007