• Apex Technology, PAG Asia said in talks with firms for assets
  • Apex-led group agreed to buy Lexmark for $3.6 billion in April

The Chinese firms that agreed to buy computer-printer maker Lexmark International Inc. in April are already exploring a sale of the company’s software division, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The group of owners, led by Apex Technology Co. and PAG Asia Capital, are in talks with a number of private equity firms about a sale of the business, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The owners are not using an external adviser to sell the software unit, which could fetch as much as $1 billion, one person said.

A spokesman for Lexmark declined to comment on the software business, noting that the company continues to expect the deal announced in April to close in the second half. Representatives for Apex and PAG Asia didn’t immediately respond to e-mail requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Apex and PAG Asia agreed to buy Lexington, Kentucky-based Lexmark in April in an all-cash transaction that valued the company at $3.6 billion. The company worked with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore options including a sale following a fall in demand for its products as customers switched to digital documents.

Apex is based in Guangdong, China, while PAG Asia Capital is a buyout arm of one of Asia’s largest private equity firms. The consortium also includes Legend Capital, the venture arm of Beijing-based Legend Holdings.

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