Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Announces Acquisition of Muratec America, Inc.

Barbara Richards
Aug 3, 2017

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Muratec has more than forty years in the industry entering the U.S. market in 1982 as Muratec Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. companies. 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.  They are typically seen as a strong tier-two player and have a loyal dealer network.

According to Rick Taylor, President and CEO, 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, KM 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.

Muratec MFX-Series Business Class MFPs

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In addition to their A4 and A3 MFPs, Muratec also sells and services industrial label presses both inkjet and toner based technology. These digital label presses are designed for short run, high-definition digital color labels.

Muratec Precision Label Series (toner-based) Models

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Muratec Digital Label Presses & Packaging Printers (Ink-based) Models

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InfoTrends Opinion

This latest acquisition by KM marks the 30th acquisition for them in the last five years. Konica Minolta 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, KM introduced their “Office of the Future” products, including the Workplace Hub. The Workplace Hub promises an extensible and scalable IT server solution that can expand as SMB customers’ businesses grow.

The recent acquisition of Muratec allows KM to expand their 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 KM. Konica Minolta Japan’s recent first quarter results ending on June 30th 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. KM’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.

 

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