US firm Hyland is to acquire an enterprise content management business currently owned by printer maker Lexmark.

Lexmark’s software unit – which includes Kofax and ReadSoft as well as Perceptive Software – has been sold to Thoma Bravo, a leading US private equity firm which already owns Hyland. The deal is due to complete in the third quarter of this year.

Kofax and ReadSoft will unite to create a single, independent company under the Kofax brand.

The Perceptive Software business will become part of Hyland.

Citing sources familiar with the sale, Reuters estimated its total value at $1.5 billion.

In an open letter to existing and prospective customers, the president and chief executive of Hyland suggested the firm was “incredibly well positioned to continue to do the important work of digitally transforming businesses across the globe”.

Bill Priemer continued: “When I think about the opportunities to extend our current solutions, I’m particularly enthusiastic about the possibilities in clinical healthcare and higher education.”

More than 1,800 healthcare providers use Hyland’s OnBase for electronic document management. In the NHS, it has notably been used by Barts Health NHS Trust, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Industry commentators have suggested Hyland’s acquisition of Perceptive will serve to create the market’s single largest enterprise content management business.