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Fujitsu to reportedly sell scanner business to Ricoh for $625 million

The Japanese IT services giant is hoping to focus more on software development

Fujitsu is reportedly set to sell its scanner business to imaging and electronics company Ricoh for 80 billion yen ($625 million) as it aims to focus on software development.

The Japanese IT services company will sell an 80% stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary PFU, a business scanner manufacturer, as reported by Nikkei Asia. Ricoh plans to combine office equipment and image data processing by incorporating PFU’s products in a new service.

Fujitsu is set to focus on software development in response to strong demand for digitisation of business processes like remote working.

The company has recently had success in this field. In March 2022, it emerged that Fujitsu had been awarded a £250 million contract by the UK’s HMRC for managed desktop services, extending a deal that originated in 2017. In early April, it was also awarded a £184 million contract by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office to provide networking and communications to 532 British embassies

The company continues to win UK government contracts despite its role in the Horizon scandal, where Fujitsu’s software had been used as evidence to successfully convict 736 Post Office workers of theft and false accounting between 2000 and 2014.

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PFU hasn’t released its earnings for 2021, although it reported a net profit of 3,952 million yen ($31 million) in 2020. This was its lowest net profit over four years, with the year previously being 6,029 million yen ($47 million). 

The two companies are set to make a formal decision on the deal by the end of the month and will also consider collaborating on the digitisation of office operations.

A spokesperson for Fujitsu acknowledged that it’s considering the matter carefully, although no decisions have been made as of this time. “Fujitsu will promptly announce matters that require disclosure as they arise,” they added.

Ricoh echoed this, with a spokesperson saying that no decision has been made at the moment, although the company is considering the matter.

Remote working has become increasingly important for Fujitsu, especially as it made 80,000 of its workers permanently remote in 2020 and planned to reduce its office footprint by 50%, as part of planning for a post-pandemic future. The company hoped to help employees enjoy unprecedented flexibility to improve their work-life balance.

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