Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Announces Acquisition of Muratec America
Expanding Distribution Network Just Part of the Strategy
On August 1, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., announced the acquisition of Muratec America, Inc., a leading supplier of MFP solutions and a provider of managed document and cloud services in North America. According to Konica Minolta, the acquisition will strengthen the company’s distribution network and further advance its leading position within the industry. Muratec will become a wholly-owned consolidated subsidiary of Konica Minolta and will continue to deliver its high quality sales and maintenance business. Additionally, Muratec will continue to operate under the leadership of Jim D’Emidio, President.
Muratec has more than 40 years in the industry, as it entered the U.S. market in 1982 as Muratec Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. organizations. The company changed its name in 1992 to Muratec and realigned to focus sales and distribution exclusively through a national business-to-business dealer channel. The company is typically seen as a strong tier-two player and it has a loyal dealer network.
According to Rick Taylor, President and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., “Historically, we’ve had a mutual and complementary product lineup with Muartec making this acquisition a great platform to create new synergies together.” Taylor further added, “The fundamentals of both of these companies align and we both strive to be the best in every region, makes this a perfect fit.” In fact, Konica Minolta has been supplying Muratec with their A3 MFP engines for some time. The Muratec MFX-Series business-class MFPs are just the latest example of that long standing OEM relationship.
This latest acquisition by Konica Minolta marks its 30th acquisition in the last five years. The company has been one of the few manufacturers in the digital imaging equipment manufacturing space that has taken risks by investing in areas outside the typical office equipment market. We first saw this investment diversity strategy with Konica Minolta’s acquisition of All Covered in 2011, entering into the Managed IT space. Most recently, Konica Minolta introduced their “Office of the Future” products, including the Workplace Hub, which promises an extensible and scalable IT server solution that can expand as SMB customers’ businesses grow.
The recent acquisition of Muratec allows Konica Minolta to expand its dealer partnerships in North America and also offer a new product line with Muratec’s digital presses—a market, according to Muratec, that has seen considerable growth and in many cases, a natural fit for the office equipment dealer channel. Muratec is also ahead of the curve in terms of training and support for these products which requires little additional investment for Konica Minolta. Konica Minolta Japan’s recent first quarter results ending on June 30 showed revenues up 1.4% percent but profits were down 3.8%. Revenue for the company’s Office Business segment was also down 2.3% year over year. However, sales of their A3 color MFPs grew in both North America and China.
While there are pockets of growth opportunity, InfoTrends forecasts the overall North America Office Equipment market to remain relatively flat (-0.6%) through 2021. Gains by one segment, whether it be technology shift from monochrome to color or SF to MF, are not enough to grow the entire market. Pages continue to remain flat as business workflow automation and shifts in office processes impact the total market. Konica Minolta’s strategy to diversify by investing in new areas will help strengthen their business portfolio while still allowing them to continue to grow their core product offerings.