January 10, 2008
Purchase of Intellectual Property, Assets To Spur Market Share Growth, Accelerate Global R&D Pipeline
Kyocera Mita Corporation (www.kyoceramita.com), a group company of Kyocera Corporation, and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of office information equipment, including network-ready digital multifunctional products (MFPs) and printers, is acquiring $37 million USD in intellectual property (IP) and assets of Peerless Systems Corporation, as part of a strategic move to expand its global market share, as well as accelerate and strengthen its technological development.
Through its award-winning ECOSYS technology, Kyocera Mita manufacturers and markets document solutions proven to be one of the most reliable, durable and cost efficient products in the industry. By incorporating Peerless’ IP and R&D directly within its own operations, Kyocera Mita will strengthen its competitive position and deliver additional product value and higher customer satisfaction to the end-user.
"We believe there are untapped, strategic opportunities to better serve today’s demanding business customer which can be captured through the advent of emerging printing technologies," said Katsumi Komaguchi, president, Kyocera Mita Corporation. "Although we have been a collaborative partner of Peerless Systems for years, we can now more fully leverage such technologies, and the skills of the engineers who helped develop them, through the elevated position of operational strength this acquisition brings us."
The company said it expects to announce new high speed color printers and MFPs based upon its acquisition in this year, and will continue to consider alternative software technologies based on customer demand. In the meantime, Peerless will continue to serve current and prospective OEM customers, as well as develop new IP for use in future products and services, under terms of the agreement.
"The business value of this engagement goes far beyond the IP and patents being added to Kyocera Mita’s portfolio," said Michael Pietrunti, president and CEO, Kyocera Mita America. "We are strengthening our entire R&D process and pipeline to better compete in a crowded, commoditized market - the results of which will provide a higher degree of value and overall satisfaction for the end-user."
The Peerless transaction is scheduled to close before June 30, 2008, and is subject to certain conditions including shareholder approval. Kyocera Mita plans to transfer approximately 40 Peerless employees who have been involved in the development of Kyocera Mita’s products. This team will report to Atsushi Yuki, president of Kyocera Technology Development, Inc., a research, design and testing facility of controller technology and printing software for Kyocera printers and multifunctional devices, and a subsidiary of Kyocera Mita America, Inc.
The transaction includes all IP and assets relative to Peerless’ digital imaging software offerings, as well as all of Peerless’ patents and specific fixed assets.
Kyocera Mita manufactures and markets black & white and color digital copiers, network-ready multifunctional devices and laser printers as well as a range of wide-format imaging products. It also offers a portfolio of software and network solutions.
Kyocera’s ECOSYS Technology provides customers with print solutions that incorporate long-life components, which reduce the need to replace the drum and other image forming parts. This technology delivers a number of benefits: improved reliability, reduced environmental impact and the lowest TCO in the printer industry. Combining these hardware strengths with the latest digital and network technologies, Kyocera Mita assists businesses of all sizes to maximize value and improve their document management processes.
Kyocera Mita is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kyocera Corporation. The Kyocera Group dedicates its resources to the development of its businesses across three broad sectors: Information and Communications, Environmental Preservation and Quality of Life. Kyocera Mita, as a document solutions provider, is a core company in the Information and Communications sector. Also, its development of long-life component technology means it is an important part of Kyocera's Environmental Preservation sector.
Founded in 1982, Peerless Systems Corporation is a provider of imaging and networking technologies and components to the digital document markets, which include manufacturers of color, monochrome and multifunction office products and digital appliances. In order to process digital text and graphics, digital document products rely on a core set of imaging software and supporting electronics, collectively known as an imaging controller. Peerless’ broad line of scalable software and silicon offerings enables its customers to shorten their time-to-market and reduce costs by offering unique solutions for multiple products. Peerless’ customer base includes companies such as Canon, IBM, Konica Minolta, Kyocera Mita, Lenovo, OkiData, Ricoh, RISO, Seiko Epson and Xerox. Peerless also maintains strategic partnerships with Adobe and Novell. For more information, visit Peerless’ web site at www.peerless.com.
Statements made by us in this press release that are not historical facts constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of our senior management based on our current estimates, expectations, forecasts and projections and include comments that express our current opinions about trends and factors that may impact future operating results. Statements that use words such as we "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "could," "plan," "expect," "project," "predict," "forecast," "outlook," "potential," "continue," "may," "future," "can," "enhance," and "should," or the negative of these, as well as similar expressions, can be used to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, rely on a number of assumptions concerning future events, many of which are outside of our control, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements, expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things, changing competitive and market conditions, our reliance on certain OEM customers for significant portions of our revenues, the sufficiency of our capital resources, any adverse change in our relationship with Adobe Systems Incorporated and/or Novell, Inc, increased competition both from in-house OEM products and low cost offshore competitors, the impact of Microsoft's Vista™ operating system, reduced demand for our existing monochrome technologies or other products, the rapid changes taking place in the emerging color print devices markets, our ability to realize contract backlog, our ability to identify new customers or place our technology in a broader base of products, our ability to leverage core competencies and find product segments that blend well with our core business, our ability to successfully enter new software application sectors, our ability to maintain our profit objectives and create compelling margins, the tenure of the competitive advantage of our old and new technologies, our reliance on block licensing, our ability to develop and market our advanced devices and software, the validity and protection of our intellectual property rights, risks associated with international business activities, our reliance on key personnel and our board of directors and our ability to execute our business plan and strategic partnering transactions.
The above risks, and others, are described in further detail in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, those described under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2007, filed on April 13, 2007, and those described under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2007, filed September 10, 2007.
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