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Xerox adds managed print muscle with Arena Group buy

Print vendor makes acquisition to give it more options across the European SME market

Xerox might be embroiled in attempts to purchase HP but in the meantime  it has managed to make a slightly easier acquisition picking up UK firm Arena Group.

The rationale for buying the Wakefield-based Arena Group is that it will add considerable muscle to Xerox's presence in the workplace solutions area and add more depth to its managed print offering.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed but this is not the first time that Xerox has decided that buying a partner is the path it wants to go down.

Back in 2011 the print player snapped up NewField IT to add more depth to its managed print services as well as SME specialist Concept Group. It followed that up with further deals in the US and Netherlands but it has been a while since it struck a deal like this in the UK. 

“Building on our success in the small and midsize business market in the US, we’re now expanding our strategy to Europe,” said Hervé Tessler, president of EMEA operations, Xerox. “With the acquisition of Arena Group, we will be uniquely positioned to offer workplace solutions in one of the fastest-growing managed print services segments in Western Europe.”

Arena has been in business since 1991 and operates out of six offices with a staff around 160 strong and has carved out a reputation for document management having a foot in both the printer and copier worlds.

“There is no better time to join Xerox, a company undergoing a digital-first transformation and investing in the future,” said Adrian Fitzpatrick, managing director, Arena Group. “With our complementary client bases and Xerox’s comprehensive portfolio of offerings, we will be able to address the growing needs of the SMB market together.”

In terms of the attempts to get HP, which has been an ongoing battle raging since it first emerged as a prospect in November last year, the resistance from its takeover target continues.

Last week, HP blasted Xerox’s latest move to initiate a hostile takeover bid, which involves replacing the existing board with 11 new members, claiming that its rival’s tactics were self-serving.

The board nominations being proposed by Xerox include former senior executives from several blue chip companies, including Aetna, United Airlines, Hilton Hotels, Novartis and Verizon. Xerox said the candidates were chosen because of their expertise in overseeing and executing significant company transformations and combinations, with demonstrated track records of creating value for shareholders.

Defending its existing board, HP said: “We believe these nominations are a self-serving tactic by Xerox to advance its proposal, that significantly undervalues HP and creates meaningful risk to the detriment of HP shareholders.” 

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