Prion takes in CIE, drops Genicom and C.Itoh

Rationalisation of operations at distributor Siltek Asia-Pacific manifested yesterday with the acquisition of its printer distribution arm CIE Pacific by the significantly larger Prion wing of the company.

According to CIE's general manager, Michael Rebiffe, the deal is a true acquisition that has been sealed but will not be finalised until there is a "cash transaction from one Siltek arm to the other".As a result, Prion has now added former CIE-distributed brands Kyocera and Minolta to the Tektronix and HP ranges it already distributes. CIE will close down the Genicom side if the trade and "hand off" the C.Itoh market it created "to another distributor we feel will be able to finish the job", according to Rebiffe.Rebiffe said that as a printer-only distributor, CIE was a profitable and growing concern, on target to achieve $8-10 million in revenues for this calendar year.

The C.Itoh brand of impression and thermal printers was not an area Prion wanted to get into, Rebiffe said, but CIE would ensure the product range found a good home."We started as the Australian distributor for C.Itoh and have created a market for it in Australia," Rebiffe said. "Prion wants to focus on the high-end, value-added solutions side of the printer market."Rebiffe said he has been offered a role elsewhere in the Siltek organisation. He will be running the HP Laser Inkjet Systems side of Prion, which he said is worth about "$30-40 million per annum".The Siltek Group acquired Prion in December last year.