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 user 2007-04-26 at 11:56:00 am Views: 30
  • #18073

    EU approves Japan’s Ricoh to buy IBM’s printer business
    Belgium: EU regulators on Wednesday approved the acquisition by Japan’s
    Ricoh Co. of International Business Machines Corp.’s printing division
    as IBM focuses on more profitable parts of the technology industry.

    European Commission cleared the deal automatically after identifying no
    antitrust problems and receiving no complaints from rivals within 25
    working days.Ricoh will pay IBM US$725 million (€558.6 million) in cash
    up front and an unspecified remainder later. It initially will own 51
    percent of the new company, InfoPrint Solutions Co., and will take full
    ownership within three years.Faced with middling overall growth in
    corporate technology spending, IBM has sold off several units in recent
    years in hopes of increasing its profit margins. The biggest deals have
    included the US$2.05 billion (€1.58 billion) sale of the company’s
    disk-drive business to Hitachi Ltd. and the US$1.75 billion (€1.35
    billion) sale of its personal-computer business to China’s Lenovo Group
    Ltd.IBM’s printing division has a long history but has diminished in
    importance over time. In 1991, IBM sold off its typewriter and low-end
    printer businesses, creating a company that became today’s Lexmark
    International Inc.

    The remaining division now heading to Ricoh
    has focused on high-quality production printing hardware and software
    for large businesses. It is profitable, according to IBM Executive Vice
    President Nick Donofrio.InfoPrint Solutions will have about 1,200
    employees and headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Eventually, an
    additional 1,000 IBM printer-maintenance specialists may join the
    company, depending on how the business progresses.It will be headed by
    Tony Romero, who had been managing the business for IBM.