Ricoh Acquires 3D Surface print Specialist

Originally published at Printweek.

Ricoh acquires 3D surface print specialist LAC

Ricoh has acquired LAC Corporation, a Japanese company specialising in technology to print onto three-dimensional surfaces, as part of its industrial print growth strategy.

All 47 employees at LAC will be taken on in the deal, completed on 31 October, as the manufacturer maintains its own brand and takes advantage of Ricoh’s vast international reach. Currently, less than 10% of LAC’s sales are generated from outside Japan.

Its headline technology is machinery to discharge high-viscosity ink from distances up to 100mm, allowing for print onto 3D objects such as cars, trucks, aircraft, tyres and glass bottles. This sector is a key target for Ricoh, which will use LAC to move into the market.

Ricoh UK marketing director Chas Moloney said: “Integration of LAC technology into Ricoh products is to be discussed and decided. Ricoh will sell LAC’s existing machines for a while after the acquisition. There will be no reductions in human resources, office closures or changes in the development system in LAC.

“Our acquisition of LAC is aimed at strengthening Ricoh’s industrial printing business, which is one of its three growth strategies. Ricoh will continue developing inkjet technology, strengthening its display printing capabilities for paper and beyond paper, and applied printing, which combines processes and materials to create new customer value.”

Under a growth strategy titled ‘Ricoh Ignite’, the manufacturer has been focused on expanding its printing technology portfolio since February.

Ricoh was approached directly by LAC, with its team saying they related to Ricoh founder Kiyoshi Ichimura’s business philosophies, according to Moloney.

LAC will add 720m yen (£4.9m) to Ricoh’s £14.9bn turnover as the companies work to integrate their respective technology portfolios and merge capabilities.

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