Lexmark leaps out of enterprise software

The quest by printer giant Lexmark to build an empire in the unstructured data world has officially ended, with the news it is offloading the impressive portfolio of capture and ECM software firms it had acquired since 2010.

US private investment firm Thoma Bravo, owner of Hyland Software, has purchased the full suite of solutions including the Perceptive Software business, Kofax and ReadSoft.

Perceptive Software will be placed under the Hyland umbrella, while Kofax will be established again as a separate entity and absorb the ReadSoft business. Both Hyland and Lexmark engaged in a bidding war for ReadSoft back in 2014 — a war that Hyland eventually lost.

The Perceptive portfolio assets acquired by Hyland include Perceptive Content (formerly ImageNow), Perceptive Capture (formerly Brainware), Acuo VNA, PACSGEAR, Claron, Nolij, Saperion, Pallas Athena, ISYS and Twistage.

As Thoma Bravo and Lexmark owners (Apex Technology Co Ltd, PAG Asia Capital and Legend Capital Management Co, LTD,) are private entities, the amount paid for the businesses was not released.

Lexmark’s Enterprise Software business lost $US88 million in 2015, according to Lexmark's 2015 annual report (Lexmark, which is best known for its printers, went private in November 2016). It generated $US534 million in revenue that year, up from $US224 million in 2013 (it lost nearly $US80 million in 2013).

The revenue increase was largely driven by two acquisitions: Lexmark bought Kofax in 2015, and it acquired ReadSoft in 2014. Following those acquisitions, the Enterprise Software group went into cost-cutting mode, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We're incredibly excited to be acquiring the Lexmark Enterprise Software business as it contains some of the most advanced digital transformation technologies in the industry. The Perceptive Software business is highly complementary to Hyland, providing innovative technologies and vertical expertise," said Seth Boro, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo.

 "We're equally thrilled to partner with Reynolds and his management team under the Kofax brand as a new Thoma Bravo portfolio company. Their vision to digitally transform and simplify initial customer interactions with businesses, or what they term the 'First Mile,' represents an exciting opportunity across all industries."