Konica Minolta announced it would buy copier dealer chain Danka Office Imaging by one of its suppliers,. The US company is a division of UK-based Danka Business Systems PLC, which is planning to dissolve. The deal was for $240 million.
Danka (which is 31 years old) was once a major power in the copier industry, with a wide network in North America and Europe. In 2006, it sold off its European operations to Ricoh for $210 million. Last year, the remainder of the business lost almost $30 million.
For Konica Minolta, the deal is part of a campaign for it to move up into the first tier of U/S? copier companies, to join rivals Canon, Ricoh, and Xerox. The move was also a reaction to Xerox's buyout of copier retail chain Global Imaging last year, as more and more the copier manufacturers swallow up the most profitable part of dealer layer that stands between them and the customer.