Canon in bid for Oce

CANON plans to buy Dutch copier and printer maker Oce for &euro;730m (&pound;650m), in a challenge to rivals Ricoh and Xerox in the hunt for growth.<br /><br />Canon, the copier and digital camera maker, and Oce said in a joint statement yesterday that Canon would offer &euro;8.60 per share, for Oce&rsquo;s shares, a premium of 70 per cent to Oce&rsquo;s Friday close.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s largest digital camera maker, which derived 65 per cent of 2008 sales from printers and copiers, and rivals have suffered from the economic slump forcing companies to cut office costs.<br /><br />Oce, loss-making in the past two quarters, has been cutting costs and staff and paid no final dividend in 2008. Canon and Ricoh reported sharp falls in quarterly profit last month.<br /><br />Canon and Oce products have little overlap, with the Japanese company strong in regular office machines and lower-end printers while Oce excels in high-end, large-sized printers.