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March 4, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Until this month, according to Jim Jamfrey, sales people from both Genicom Corp and Centronics Data Computer Corp told potential customers that they worked for the world’s leading manufacturer of printers. The only difference now, says Genicom vice-president Jamfrey, is that they are all telling the truth, instead of half of them lying. As of February 12, the two $160m to $170m a year companies – Centronics had a fractionally higher turnover last year – have become one, Genicom paying $75m in cash to acquire the non-cash assets of Centronics. Last year, Genicom acquired Momentum Technology, a printer service company, from Televideo Inc and the computer printer rights to a new British-developed print technology, RIP, from Gradco, and Jamfrey says Centronics is unlikely to be Genicom’s last purchase: We intend to stay number one both in size and in using the leading edge of technology. He promises developments in dot matrix, line and laser printers but warns that better does not necessarily mean cheaper. Although he says that Genicom has the widest range of printers of any supplier, Jamfrey does not expect the company to get down and tackle Epson – 150,000 printers per month worldwide according to Epson UK head of corporate communications Edward Huggins – at the low-end. Genicom, formed in 1983 by a leveraged buyout from General Electric Co, concentrates on medium and high performance products to the business sector and OEM customers such as Siemens and Bull, while apart from a major OEM agreement with ICL, Centronics sells mainly through distributors.

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