Ricoh's data centre services shopping spree continues with £30m slurp of Brit outfit MTI

Because who would want to be a standalone print or copier biz in 2020?

Japanese print and copier specialist Ricoh has snaffled UK storage infrastructure and security managed service provider MTI Technology for a figure understood to be in the region of £30m.

The buy is the latest in the company's efforts to recast itself as an IT services shop, something that has perhaps taken on new meaning since the pandemic ripped through the print industry and forced office closures.

MTI was itself sold by previous management to channel vets Scott Haddow and Angelo di Ventura – backed by private equity house Endless LLP – at the end of 2016 for £17m, so today's deal represents a decent return.

The purchase will give Ricoh customers some infrastructure and security services nous, and Alberto Mariani, senior veep of office services, described the deal in understated tones: "This acquisition is a genuine game changer in the IT Services space and fits perfectly with Ricoh's strategy to transform into a Digital service company."

The management teams at MTI have been asked to remain on board, sources close to Ricoh told us, and the brand name will remain. The business turned over a little more than £80m in the year ended March 2020, according to analyst MegaBuyte, and employs 200 people in the UK, Germany, and France.

Ricoh has made a string of acquisitions recently, dipping into the Iberian region with the takeover of infrastructure services players IPM in Spain and TotalStor in Portugal in 2019. Last month it snaffled Düsseldorf-based AV and workplace integrator Data Vision and Warsaw-based SimplicITy, which focuses on data centre, hybrid cloud, and networking security services.

Other print vendors have also got in on the act by purchasing businesses in the channel that services their products for customers, including Xerox and HP.

Ricoh and others have been hit hard by the pandemic, with customers printing fewer things, at least from their traditional office setting. In the quarter ended 30 June, Ricoh reported a 26.2 per cent decline in revenue to ¥352.3bn (£2.58bn, $3.32bn) and recorded a loss of ¥21.27m (c $200k/£160k).

Who can blame the company for wanting to diversify? ®

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