Three big deals in the first months on 2018

Fujifilm acquires Xerox for USD 6.1-bn and combined it with Fuji Xerox to create a new USD 18-bn turnover giant. What does this entail? For one, the combined Fuji Xerox would leapfrog rivals Canon and Ricoh in terms of printing revenues, and will be a close second to HP in terms of scale. Two, the potential addressable market is approaching USD 120-bn. So lads and ladies, the game is afoot!

28 Feb 2018 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Many people have asked me, what should they know about this deal? One thing to do is, keep an eye on Fujifilm chairman and chief executive Shigetaka Komori. Yes, Xerox chief executive Jeff Jacobson will be CEO of the new Fuji Xerox organisation but Komori is the gent who has worked on how to combine and "unleash" the best technologies and R&D know-how. He is the gent who famously said the plans would "remain confidential during the integration phase".
Komori transformed Fujifilm in the face of huge decline in what had been its core photographic business, and wrote a book Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing, detailing his experiences. Please do read the book, if you want an insight into one of the biggest deals of 2018.
The other big deal in January was Kolbus selling its perfect binding business to Muller Martini.  In real terms, this means, the Kolbus perfect binding and book line business, based at Rahden in Germany, and intellectual property will be transferred to Muller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme, a new business unit formed at the site that will be integrated into the Muller Martini group.
An ex-employer I met, told me this was bound to happen when "a company starts to sacrifice the long-term profits from after-sales in the pursuit of short-term machine sales."
And in a way, this dovetails into the question that was asked to Khushru Patel (in the pic) of Jak Printers at KMPA's Print and Beyond seminar in Kochi on 3 February. How does a company CEO pass on the baton in a family-run business? Patel's reply was, "One should train the children (the gen-next) in the family to focus on the business aspect and not merely the print products."
Now, only time will tell if Khusru Patel's method works or no. But there is an alarming bit of stats from a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Family Business Annual Survey. This survey suggests that 30% of family businesses make it to the second generation, 12% to the third, and a mere 3% to a further generation.
And this brings me to the breaking news of February.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to invest around USD 5-million in Smartpaddle Technology (Bizongo) which as PrintWeek India and WhatPackaging? readers will recall was founded by three IITians: Aniket Deb, Sachin Agrawal and Ankit Tomar.
The Mumbai-based company operates as a B2B technology platform providing one-stop-shop packaging solutions to medium and large companies. And they are certainly on the march even as budget allocations for print and packaging were squeezed to a piecemeal size in 2017.
So what will happen next? Please find out, after the break.