Lexmark's chief executive, Paul Curlander, has claimed that IBM's printer division, which is up for sale, is overvalued.
Speaking to PC Dealer at Lexmark's headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, last week, Curlander said the printer manufacturer was not interested in buying the IBM business, priced at about $2 billion.
'Although we have a relationship with IBM, we don't have an interest in that part of the market. At that price I think it will have trouble selling it,' said Curlander.
Speculating on IBM's reason for selling The Printing Systems Co, Curlander added: 'IBM's stock reacts when (IBM CEO) Louis Gerstner mentions growth.
That particular market is not growing.'
Canon stated last month that it was not interested in buying the Printing Systems Division, which develops high-end industrial printers, after being approached by IBM, even though IBM has not confirmed that the division is up for sale (PC Dealer, 24 June).
Curlander also spoke of Lexmark's decision to supply printers for rebranding by Compaq. 'We've chosen to partner certain vendors to leverage their brand power to get our products into retail stores. Compaq has far more power than us in this,' he said.
It is not yet certain whether Compaq will sell Lexmark printers in Europe.
'The deal with Compaq is global, and Compaq will decide where it sell into,' said Tony Hall, UK director of Lexmark consumer products division.
Curlander pointed out that the company has entered into similar agreements elsewhere, including with Fujitsu in Japan and Samsung in Korea. He added there were no plans to forge further relationships.
Hall dismissed that idea that partnering a potential competitor would be harmful for Lexmark. 'I don't see it as a threat if Compaq decides to sell into a geography where we have little market share.'
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