IBM sheds printing division

The firm’s printing operation has officially flown the nest and begun operating independently
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InfoPrint Solutions, the product of a joint venture between IBM and Ricoh which saw the former’s Printing Systems Division branch off from its core business, has begun officially operating a separate entity.

IBM expects that 1,000 of its employees may move to the new business. The parent company also said it will continue to offer InfoPrint Solutions product to its customer base and will provide support for the new company, reported vnunet.com.

InfoPrint Solutions will be incrementally absorbed into Ricoh, who paid IBM $725 million for a 51 per cent stake in the business. Prepayment for the remaining 49 per cent is set to be transferred over the next three years.

"With this launch, we have created a billion-dollar enterprise with the backing of two undisputed industry leaders. Together, we will drive the next generation of innovation in output solutions," said former IBM printing systems head Tony Romero, who now becomes chief executive of InfoPrint Solutions.

Norio Tanaka, corporate senior vice president of the production printing business group at Ricoh added: "Today is a historic moment for IBM and Ricoh and more importantly, an industry first. The creation of Infoprint Solutions brings together the best of two industry leaders, and greatly enhances the Ricoh portfolio of offerings."

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