Business World

Japan Ricoh says it is conducting impairment tests; share prices fall


TOKYO — Ricoh Co. Ltd a Japanese maker of office equipment, said on Thursday it was conducting impairment tests, following a report that it was considerin­g taking a charge of up to ¥100 billion ($930 million) this fiscal year.

The report by the Nikkei said Ricoh was considerin­g the impairment charge for its slumping North American business as the shift to digital dulls demand for printers.

Ricoh said in a statement it was unclear if it would book an impairment loss or what the amount would be pending the test results.

Shares of Ricoh were down more than 5% in early trade.

Office equipment companies have been under pressure to find new sources of growth as demand for office printing has declined.

On Jan. 31, Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings said it was set to take over Xerox Corp. in a $6.1-billion deal, combining the US company into their existing joint venture to gain scale and cut costs.

Xerox has been struggling to reinvent its legacy business amid waning demand for office printing, while Fujifilm has been trying to streamline its copier business with a larger focus on document solutions services.

Activist shareholde­rs, including Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, have urged fellow investors to oppose the deal, saying the agreement dramatical­ly undervalue­s Xerox. —

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