Top five headlines of the week

By 31 Jan 2020

PrintWeek's ERP and MIS expert, Sriraam Selvam, looks at the Xerox bid plus Monotype's acquisition and CEO updates from EFI and Landa; as well as the implications of the Amazon Jeff Bezos' recent visit to India

Sriraam Selvam, associate editor of PrintWeek

Xerox and HP
Xerox said it intends to continue to pursue its proposed acquisition of HP. Meanwhile HP has called Xerox “a company of questionable value” after the business, which continues to pursue a hostile takeover of HP, reported a 6.2% revenue drop for 2019 and a 2.2% decline in Q4.

A financial analyst following Xerox has said the manufacturer may need to increase its bid for HP from USD22-per-share to USD26 in order to attract the company’s board and shareholders.

Xerox has made a USD 33bn offer for the much larger HP business in cash and shares.

But according to IT trade publication CRN, Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley said in a research note that HP’s shareholders consider the proposed deal as “risky and not lucrative enough”.

Meanwhile in its results for the year ended 31 December 2019, released yesterday (28 January), Xerox recorded sales of USD9.07bn, down from the USD9.66bn it achieved in 2018. For Q4 its revenue was USD2.44bn, down from USD2.5bn year-on-year.

Overall equipment sales fell by 2.1% to USD616m in Q4, which included sales of high-end kit up 1.5% to USD139m.

Fontsmith acquired by Monotype
Woburn, Massachusetts-headquartered Monotype, which was founded in 1887, was acquired last year by private equity firm HGGC. Now it has acquired Fontsmith.

The deal, which was announced on 27 January, will see typeface giant Monotype immediately expand its library of type IP to include “70 new edgy, colourful and workhorse brand font families”, including FS Albert, FS Brabo, FS Koopman, FS Meridian, FS Millbank and FS Untitled.

The Fontsmith designs will be included as part of Monotype’s Mosaic platform and available for purchase on MyFonts.com.

Employing more than 700 staff, Monotype's revenue for 2018 was USD246.7m.

Asher Levy will be chairman at Landa Digital Printing
Landa Digital Printing, the largest of the Landa Group’s 18 companies, has taken on Asher Levy as its new active chairman.

Asher is an accomplished executive whose decades-long career helped Orbotech become world market leader in its field. As CEO of Orbotech, Asher grew the company to become a billion-dollar-plus enterprise."

His appointment coincides with the departure of Yishai Amir, who has been Landa Digital Printing's chief executive for the past four years and has now stepped down.

Starting as a spin-out of Landa Labs 10 years ago, Landa Digital Printing now employs around 600 people and is in an accelerating growth phase as it ramps up delivery of its nanographic printing presses worldwide.

Landa Group chairman Benny Landa said: "2019 was a pivotal year for Landa Digital Printing, which saw its first press installations being enthusiastically received by customers. The company is now poised for unprecedented growth and is deserving of a dedicated active chairman."

Four mantras from EFI boss
EFI CEO Jeff Jacobson used his inaugural Connect user conference opening keynote to ask the sector to do more to “lift itself up… because there's a lot of growth in this great industry”.

He presented four cornerstones to the circa 800-strong audience of EFI customers attending the 21st Connect convention at Las Vegas. These were: be present; continually test the status quo; become an expert generalist; and make life simple.

Amazon faces resistance in India
During founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' recent visit to the country — in which he announced an additional US$1 billion investment in the market (bringing the company's total investment to date to USD6.5 billion) with plans to support thousands of local kirana stores and create a million jobs by 2025 — he was greeted with protests, ministerial snubbing and an antitrust investigation.

According to a Deloitte report, India is also uniquely dominated by ‘unorganised retail’—mom-and-pop stores, locally called kirana shops, that are threatened by the growth of the ‘organised’ sector, which ecommerce falls under. The latter currently represents just 12% of the country’s total retail market, but is expected to grow its share to between 22% and 25% by 2021.

India is home to the second largest internet user base in the world after China, and still has huge headroom for growth—internet penetration currently stands at 475 million, equivalent to about 40% of the population, and is expected to increase to 627 million by 2020. In parallel, the cost of smartphones and data has been rapidly reducing over the past few years—two factors that will be critical in converting shoppers to ecommerce.

Ashish Bhasin, APAC CEO at Dentsu Aegis Network, says "When I look back philosophically I think India Railways was one of the triggers that familiarised consumers with ecommerce. They were one of the first significant organisations that set up online purchases of railway tickets, and almost every Indian travels this way."

Events

Nov
10

Labelexpo India 2022 NEW!

Nov 10 - 13 Nov 2022
India Expo Centre, Greater Noi...

Latest Poll

What should be the key focus area of the Indian print industry?