TOKYO--March 31, 2004-- Ricoh Co., Ltd. and Hitachi, Ltd. today announced that Ricoh and Hitachi have signed a basic agreement to the effect that Hitachi will transfer all its shares of Hitachi Printing Solutions, Ltd. ('Hitachi PRS'), a 100% owned subsidiary, to Ricoh. Details are as follows.
Reasons for the basic agreement
Ricoh is committed to strengthening its printer business, an important pillar of its growth strategy. To this end, Ricoh will strengthen product lines for the office color printer market, printers for mission-critical systems and POD, or print-on-demand, markets, in which Ricoh is yet to participate. In addition, Ricoh will enhance IT sales channels on top of its conventional copier marketing channels. Through these initiatives, Ricoh will optimize "Total Document Volume" as the strategic objective of its imaging solutions business.
In accordance with the basic agreement, Ricoh will acquire Hitachi PRS, which enjoys considerable success with its printers for mission-critical systems, high-speed printers for the POD markets and also low-end color laser printers. Hitachi PRS's participation in the Ricoh group will not only create synergistic effects in the areas of technology, products and human resources for Ricoh printer business but also contribute to increasing Ricoh's corporate value.
Hitachi, for its part, is making every possible effort to ensure that all its businesses win in the global marketplace in accordance with its mid-term business plan: "i.e.HITACHI Plan II." This basic agreement was made within the context of this plan. Hitachi sees printers as important products for its information and communication systems business and intends to provide its customers with even higher valued-added solutions, maintaining all the while a strong business partnership with Ricoh.
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