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Fujifilm cuts into ex-partner Xerox's European turf

Japanese group also will sell office equipment in South America but avoid U.S.

Fujifilm Business Innovation, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Fujifilm Holdings, will introduce commercial printers during October in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The company formerly known as Fuji Xerox will start selling office machines in some European countries and other markets that had been off limits, now that a long-standing deal between Japan's Fujifilm Holdings and U.S.-based Xerox has ended, Nikkei has learned.

Fujifilm Business Innovation will introduce large commercial printers under its own brand next month in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal, tapping its parent Fujifilm Holdings' sales networks.

More products, including multifunction machines, debut later this year in Europe, the Middle East and South and Central America. A newly developed photo printer will be sold in India, where demand for such products is high.

Fujifilm Holdings and Xerox dissolved their nearly six-decade joint venture in 2019. Their agreement on brand licensing and sales regions, under which the former Fuji Xerox covered the Asia-Pacific and Xerox sold products in the U.S., Europe and other markets, ended in March this year.

This means the companies are now free to pursue any market. Also gone is a requirement for the Japanese group to pay roughly 10 billion yen ($90.3 million) in annual brand licensing and other fees.

The office equipment segment suffers from slowing growth but has provided Fujifilm Holdings with a stable source of revenue to fund expansion into new areas, such as pharmaceuticals. 

Overseas markets accounted for a little more than 40%, or about 350 billion yen, of Fujifilm Holdings' office equipment sales in the fiscal year ended in March. The group seeks to increase this amount about 10% by the year ending March 2024 with a push into Europe and other regions.

Fujifilm Business Innovation continues to supply Xerox with office equipment under a production agreement up for renewal in 2024. For now, the Japanese company has steered clear of the U.S. and certain European countries where the American brand has a strong presence.

If Xerox switches to another supplier, the Japanese company would lose a key customer at a time businesses are printing fewer documents and the shift toward remote work keeps offices empty.

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