Continuing its move into the services market, Konica Minolta recently announced its intent to acquire Asia Pacific print management firm Ergo Asia, purchasing all shares for an undisclosed financial sum. The acquisition is an important next step in Konica Minolta’s broader strategy to position print management services side-by-side production print services worldwide.
Founded in 2004, Ergo Asia is a print management firm based in Australia with over half of its revenue coming from domestic deals, though has made strides elsewhere in the APAC region including China, Hong Kong, and India. Hovering around $200M in annual revenue, Ergo Asia would be classified as a smaller player globally, but regionally the company is a strong competitor. Ergo Asia’s services encompass creative design, project management, production and compliance on the backend. The company’s technology team spans multiple locations in North America, Asia, and Australia. For now, Ergo Asia will largely operate separately from Konica Minolta.
The combination of Ergo Asia—along with previous moves—has Konica Minolta poised for aggressive growth in a thriving print management market. For instance, in 2012 the company acquired Charterhouse PM Limited, a European print management and marketing services production firm. According to Konica Minolta, via ProPrint.com, Charterhouse and Ergo will combine to make one of the larger marketing print management providers in the world, with clients in over 30 countries.
Based on our research in the print management market, Konica Minolta is well-positioned to gain market share in the mid-tier, but will need to better align their assets to unleash growth potential. It might take a while – as integration often does – but successful alignment will position Konica Minolta more advantageously when going up against the market leaders in InnerWorkings, Tag Worldwide, RR Donnelley, and Standard Register. It will be interesting to see what acquisitions and integrations will follow. For instance, will Konica Minolta make a move into the U.S. market? Will we see a rebranding of Charterhouse and Ergo Asia?
Either way, Konica Minolta has taken aim at the print management market, and with good reason. Our annual document outsourcing market forecasts show print management revenues as key drivers of growth. While the print management opportunity is more mature in the European market, APAC and the Americas continue to have a significant upside. As enterprises become better educated on the benefits of print management, this category should continue to outpace other segments in our forecast.