EU OK’s RICOH TO BUY IBM’s PRINTER BUSS

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EU OK’s RICOH TO BUY IBM’s PRINTER BUSS

 user 2007-04-26 at 11:55:00 am Views: 54
  • #18319

    EU approves Japan’s Ricoh to buy IBM’s printer business
    BRUSSELS, 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.

    The 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.