Fujifilm Holdings and Fuji Xerox Abandoned Legal Fight, Epson Declines

On November 5 Fujifilm Holdings and its Fuji Xerox subsidiary abandoned the legal fight related to a 2018 proposed merger with Xerox. Fuji Xerox was established in 1962 as a 50:50 joint venture between Rank Xerox (Xerox European operation absorbed by Xerox in 1977) and Japanese film company Fujifilm as a  means of supplying Xerox copy machines in Japan and Asia. Fuji Xerox began developing its own technology in the mid 70’s at a time when Xerox was concentrating on high volume copy systems and Japanese competitors focused on smaller desktop systems.

Since the late 80’s and 90’s many copiers and printers, particularly full-colour and multifunction, were developed by Fuji Xerox and sold under the Xerox label. In 2000 Fuji Xerox acquired chemical toner technology from Nippon Carbide and this was at least partially responsible for the Xerox transition to chemical toner production. Major Xerox investors rejected the potential merger claiming the Xerox valuation was not high enough. Xerox will receive $2.3 billion for giving up its 25% stake in Fuji Xerox. There is interesting speculation about what Xerox might do with this new cash infusion.

On Nov. 5 The Wall Street Journal reported that Xerox was exploring purchasing HP, a business three times the size of Xerox. If it happened this could be a good fit for both companies as HP has been strong in inkjet and smaller laser printers, especially after its purchase of Samsung’s printer business two years ago. Xerox has concentrated on higher speed digital printers and has only recently begun to focus on inkjet. As more office and specialty markets transition to inkjet it will affect traditional laser sales. A joint venture would also complement markets served by the two companies both in the U.S. and worldwide. From a supplies perspective – Xerox has chemical toner production capabilities and the newer Samsung printers are also using chemical toner. HP has broad inkjet development and production experience with aqueous latex inks and more recently with wide format and textile printing inks.

The recently reported six month sales figure for Epson showed an 86.3% decline compared to the previous year. Revenue for the past quarter was down 3.1% and profit down 39.7%. The company attributed the declines to a stronger yen and declining Chinese and Indian sales.

What else is news?

Malaysian-based toner producer Jadi recently provided an update on its dry toner production and how its association with Ninestar Group subsidiary SCC will result in expansion of its capabilities. With the new agreement Jadi will supply SCC 250 m.t. chemical toner during the first year, growing to 325 and 420 m.t. during the following years. After the new expansion Jadi is expected to have total toner capacity of 800 m.t. by the end of next year.

The colorant dispersion division of Liquid Colors Ltd. (South Africa) has been acquired by Chromaflo Technologies Corp. The new business expands Chromaflo’s color pigment dispersions and additional colorant technology.

Canon has introduced the imagePRESS Lite C165, the first of an intended series of entry-level color production printers. The intended new line offers production level printing, security features and a wide range of paper stock and finishing capabilities and with speed up to 65 ppm  (A4) and 2400×2400 dpi resolution.

Epson has introduced four new inkjet color label printers – the C6000A, C60000P, C6500A, and C6500P as direct competitors to the more traditional thermal transfer versions.

Konica Minolta has introduced the AccurioPress C12000 and C14000 toner-based high-volume digital presses. Capabilities include up to 120 and 140 ppm with equivalent resolution up to 3600×2400 dpi and a wide range of finishing capabilities.

Kyocera has introduced five new multifunction laser printers, including three monochrome (TASKalfa 9003i series) and two color (8353ci and 7353ci) devices. Print speeds range up to 70 ppm for color and 90 ppm monochrome and up to 1200×1200 dpi.

Xerox also saw a decrease (6.5%) in revenue for Q3 with equipment sales down 3.3% to $0.5 billion. Positive sales growth occurred for all segments of color devices with A4 MFP’s up 10%, mid-range devices 2% and high-end up 12%. Black and white units were down in all sections with low end down 6%, mid-range down 20% and high-end down 22%.

Oki Electric also saw a decline in printer sales for the first half of fiscal year ending March 2020 with sales of $431 million, down $34.86 million. Sales were affected by Europe and the increased yen value.

Fujifilm has introduced “Samba JPC”, a complete industrial inkjet component and software. The system comprises nine components including the Jujifilm Dimatix 1200 dpi MEMS printheads. The units are available in 10” and 30” widths.

DuPont was expected to introduce a new set of direct-to-garment Artistri pigment inks at the Printed United Show. The P2700 inks medium viscosity inks were designed for roll-to-roll printing.

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Related reading:

Xerox Closes Transactions with FUJIFILM

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