Breaking news – Can Ricoh India come back in 2020?

Ricoh India out of insolvency and to be delisted

Ricoh VC70000 at Hunkeler 2019
Ricoh VC 70000 webfed inkjet press shown at Hunkeler Innovation Days in February 2019 in Lucernce Photo IPP

While Ricoh seems to be doing well globally, in India, it suffered a massive disruption several years ago, due to poor governance. The Japan-based company’s Indian subsidiary Ricoh India Limited was quoted on the Bombay Stock Exchange, and despite the Japanese parent company pumping in cash, Ricoh India Limited went into insolvency. It filed an application under Section 10 of the IBC before the National Company Law Tribunal in March 2018, as it was unable to meet its liabilities.

The Mumbai bench of NCLT vide its order dated 28 November 2019 approved the resolution plan submitted by the Resolution Applicants. It meant acquisition of the company by the resolution applicants, Kalpraj Dharamshi and Ms. Rekha Jhunjhunwala, who made an open offer of Rs 50 per share to 26.4% of the shareholders and to delist the company as per the approved plan.

The public announcement of the plan dated 2 December 2019, in several daily papers reads: “As an integral part of the Approved Plan, the Resolution Applicants intend to provide an exit opportunity to the Public Shareholders of the company by making an offer to acquire up to 1,04,97,791 Equity Shares of Rs. 10/- each at a price of Rs. 50/- per equity share, representing 26.40% of the paid-up equity share capital from the Eligible Shareholders and consequently delist the Company from BSE Limited (“BSE”) as provided in the Approved Plan.”

The good news

The good news is that the acquired and to be delisted company has an active product line up from its parent Ricoh in the digital press area, and the Indian company should be back in the distribution and sales of digital print production presses in the next year. A new CEO has been appointed with a track record in the digital press business. We believe that the investors are also familiar with the digital print business, having been associated in the past, with companies importing and selling digital presses.

Ricoh has a significant installed base of sheetfed digital presses in India and a few webfed inkjet presses. It should come as a relief to its customers that maintenance and toner inputs will continue from a forward-looking business. Ricoh has an excellent line-up of webfed inkjet presses and has been lauded as a leader in the segment, primarily because of its VC70000 press. One expects to see a strong showing from the company at drupa 2020 in June, and for Ricoh’s Indian customers, it will come as a relief. For potential customers, it will come as a welcome option once the company becomes both locally viable and responsive.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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  1. Apparently there may be a delay in the Ricoh India insolvency resolution and revival plan. Kotak Investment Advisors owned by the Kotak Mahindra bank have challenged the Dharamshi-Jhunjhunwala resolution plan approved by the NCLT Mumbai. After being rejected by the NCLT and the Mumbai High Court, there is a possibility that the KIA may appeal to the Supreme Court. NK 20.2.2020


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