Canon to buy European printer maker | Shanghai Daily

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November 17, 2009

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Canon to buy European printer maker

JAPAN'S Canon is to buy Dutch copier and printer maker Oce in a deal worth US$2.2 billion, as it tries to return to growth after the global downturn.

Copier and digital camera maker Canon and Oce said in a joint statement yesterday that Canon intends to offer 8.60 euros (US$12.88) per share, or 730 million euros for Oce's total common shares outstanding.

"Through the merger of Canon and Oce, we believe that we will be able to realize clear benefits, not only in the area of R&D, but also in terms of product mix and marketing," Canon Chief Operations Officer Tsuneji Uchida said.

Oce Chief Executive Rokus van Iperen said the deal values Oce - which competes with Xerox and Konica Minolta - at about 1.5 billion euros.

Preference-share holders Ducatus, ASR and ING - which together hold 19 percent of the Oce's share capital - agreed to sell their interests to Canon, while Oce shareholder Bestinver Gestion SA has agreed to tender its 9.5 percent stake.

Analysts say the deal is positive for Canon, while potentially negative for rival Japanese copier and printer maker Konica Minolta Holdings, which is in a business alliance with Oce.

"Konica Minolta procures high-end production printing machines from Oce, while Oce procures lower-end machines from Konica Minolta," Mizuho Securities analyst Ryosuke Katsura said.

"Chances are Canon machines will replace Konica Minolta gear in this relationship," he said.

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