It’s official. This is the culmination of the 2008 acquisition when Ricoh paid $1.6 billion for the digital copier super dealer that was also the largest North American partner of its chief rival Canon. The deal seemed like an expensive proposition at the time, but it also seems to have achieved what Ricoh was looking for – increasing its U.S. distribution significantly, while putting a bit of a hurt on its fiercest rival. Xerox, which paid $1.5 billion for ACS, may have been the biggest winner in the deal.
There have clearly been some bumps in the road involving the integration of IKON and Ricoh, including the resignation of Jeff Hickling as president and CEO of Ricoh U.S. last year. Hickling had been the president and COO of IKON and initially much of IKON’s executive management was given huge roles within Ricoh’s U.S. services business. We’re not sure how much of the ex-IKON management structure is still in place, as the Hickling change took place shortly after the Ricoh Convergence event, which I attended and was the last time I had a briefing on Ricoh management.
Suffice to say, the acquisition of IKON should now be considered completed. It always made sense from a strategic standpoint, as MFP vendors have been forced to move from a hardware to more a services model. Hopefully, now all the logistics have been worked out.