Xerox has agreed to pay $US950 million in cash for Tektronix's colour printing and imaging division. With the acquisition, Xerox hopes to challenge Hewett-Packard's dominance in the colour-printing arena.
Xerox president and chief executive officer Rich Thoman called the acquisition "another in a series of strategic moves to lead the digital-document marketplace.
"What makes this news so significant for Xerox is that colour is the most profitable segment of the office-printer market," Thoman said. "The bottom line is the marriage of complementary products, distributions, channels, people and technology."
Xerox will set up a new business unit adding Tektronix's colour-printing technologies to Xerox's existing black-and-white workgroup printer offerings.
Tektronix's 2400 colour-printer division employees will become Xerox employees once the transaction is completed, which is expected to happen within two months, according to the companies.
Xerox no longer sees colour printing as a niche area and is gearing up for an aggressive rollout of ground-breaking colour-printing products, said Anne Mulcahy, president of Xerox general markets operations.
"What interested us from the very beginning is the fact that (Tektronix) has set the pace for innovation in the colour marketplace," Mulcahy said.
The companies expect the acquisition to help Xerox become HP's strongest competitor in office colour printing. Tektronix's Phaser colour laser and solid-ink printers racked up close to $US725 million in sales last year, according to the companies, and Xerox's distribution capacity is expected to rise to more than 16,000 resellers and dealers around the world -- almost double the current number.