Canon snaps up IrisLink

Canon logoPrinting powerhouse Canon is bidding to take over all shares of scanning and document managing company I.R.I.S. Group SA, which runs irisLink.

There has been talk for some time over a potential takeover,but it has today officially entered a public takeover bid for all shares, warrants and stock options. The acceptance period runs from 6 February and ends 20 March 2013.

Offer price per share is EUR 44.50. Canon bought a 17 percent stake in the company in July 2009. According to an official statement, the deal will allow the two to “cooperate more closely” in developing technology – so it seems that IrisLink will still exist as it is but with Canon cracking the whip.

Iris president Pierre de Muelenaere said in a statement that Iris’ portfolio should complement Canon’s strategy nicely. The board of directors and management are unanimously supporting the bid so it looks like a sure thing. Sitting here in Louvain, Belgium, In a lengthy keynote, Muelenaere is highlighting the cloud and managed services, the latter which made the company become “more international” over 2012.

“Our customer doesn’t need a product anymore, they need a solution,” Muelenaere said.
Denis Hermesse, CFO, said that over the last year there has been a very difficult business background. He quoted a recent IMF release that revised the world economic outlook down again, particularly in the countries that do business with Iris. Customers need to “identify expense reduction” and that is the background over 2012.

Despite that, Hermesse pointed out that the company’s gross margin at EUR 61.4 million – revenue was EUR 100 million, and otherwise the company was stable over 2012. There has been a 12 percent increase with VARs and BPO, with Hermesse pointing out this is repeated growth. In the Canon segment, Iris increased the business by 15 percent. “We still have some cash,” Hermesse said, while¬†Muelenaere added that over 2013 the company will be investing in growth initiatives, that 2012’s results were satisfactory, but he hopes 2013 will be better.