Fujitsu is selling its scanner business to Ricoh for about 80 billion yen ($625 million) as it shifts its focus to software development.
Fujitsu will sell an 80% stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ishikawa-based PFU, a major business scanner manufacturer. Ricoh plans to build a service combining office equipment and image data processing by incorporating PFU’s products.
Fujitsu is focusing on software development in response to the strong demand for digitization of business processes, such as remote working.
The two companies aim to make a formal decision on the deal by the end of the month. The two companies will also consider collaborating on the digitization of office operations.
PFU was founded in 1960 and is strong in business scanners. It makes IT equipment that converts handwritten documents into image data for offices, hospitals and other facilities.
PFU’s consolidated sales for the fiscal year ended March 2021 fell 3%, year on year, to 134.5 billion yen. Its net profit declined 34% to 3.9 billion yen over the same period due to the impact of COVID-19. Ricoh is expected to retain its approximately 4,500 employees.
The office equipment market continues to shrink, due in part to companies going paperless. According to the Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association, global shipments of copy machines and multifunction printers came to 649.1 billion yen last year, down about 30% from five years earlier.
Since around 2015, Fujitsu has been selling off pieces of its hardware businesses to concentrate on software for enterprises, including information management services for the manufacturing industry and governments. It has already sold its mobile phone and personal computer businesses.
The restructuring of its business portfolio follows other that of other manufacturers. Hitachi has decided to sell Hitachi Transport System, and Toshiba sold its air conditioning business to U.S.-based Carrier Global.