Digital print giant Ricoh has reached an agreement to buy ColorGATE Digital Output Solutions, a leading printing software supplier to the wide format and industrial printing markets.

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In a statement from its headquarters in Tokyo, Ricoh described ColorGATE as “a leading software provider in the printing industry with a specific competence in colour management. This acquisition is designed to strengthen Ricoh's growing industrial printing business.”

The deal is part of Ricoh’s growth strategy plan ‘Ricoh Unite,’ announced in February 2018, “to reinforce its value offering by expanding its printing technology portfolio.“

Founded in 1997, ColorGATE, based in Hannover, Germany, has been supporting the printing industry for over 20 years by providing software for the wide format and industrial printing sectors. With its extensive customer base, ColorGATE is the European leader in industrial printing software. It has unique colour management technology to support printing and decorating a wide variety of materials used for packaging, floor and wall coverings as well as textiles and signage. It is a leading provider of performance-optimized colour management and workflow software to standardize and automate growing digital print markets including décor and textiles.

“By combining ColorGATE's proprietary software technology with our own industrial printers, Ricoh will provide solutions covering the whole printing workflow from Pre-Press to Post-Press,” said Peter Williams, corporate vice president and GM of Commercial and Industrial Printing Business Group. “This acquisition will enable ColorGATE to expand its industrial printing business and global presence as together we become better able to support our customers to accelerate their transition from analogue to digital based production.”

Thomas Kirschner, co-founder of ColorGATE who will continue to serve as CEO, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Ricoh to contribute to this strong future growth strategy whilst we continue to serve our established customer base, OEM partners and reseller channel.”

The transfer of shares is scheduled to complete on November 30, 2018.

Ricoh Pro L5130L5160 series
 Ricoh's new Pro L5130/L5160 series launched at SGIA.

To enhance its industrial printing business, Ricoh recently established a Global IP Technology Center and a Global IP Marketing Center. “Both are located in Europe, which is increasingly the center of incubation for industrial printing markets,” said Ricoh. “This allows access to cutting-edge technology and enables increased responsiveness to market needs. The centers aim to drive marketing, strategic planning and development of business and products with Ricoh's alliance partners worldwide.”

Ricoh last month expanded its industrial printing business with the acquisition of LAC Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of unique inkjet technology that allows printing on three-dimensional surfaces including the sides of cars, trucks, tyres, aircraft and glass bottles.

At last month's SGIA in Las Vegas, Ricoh unveiled two new roll-to-roll latex wide format printers designed for faster short run production, running with Ricoh's own printheads and inks; plus a new LED-UV flatbed device with decor in mind.


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