Canon has acquired 20% of the shareholding of Océ as its bid to create “the number one presence” in the digital market gathers pace.

Shares in Océ had risen marginally above the €8.60 offer price following an objection from major shareholder Orbis.

However, recently the Japanese digital print manufacturer Canon said that it had acquired 25.3% of the total ordinary shares of Océ (“approximately 20%” of its total share capital) at an average price of €8.546 through market purchases.

The highest price the company paid was €8.59. Shares in Océ dropped 2c to €8.57 in early trading.

Canon had made an offer of €8.60 per Océ share, which represented a premium of 70% on the company’s closing share price at the end of play on 13 November, valuing the equity in the company at €730m.

In addition, Canon will be assuming Océ’s debt, which currently stands at €704m, giving the deal a total enterprise value of €1.4bn. Canon said it planned to refinance both the short- and long-term debt as required.

Tsuneji Uchida, president and chief operating officer at Canon, said, “We are delighted to welcome Océ, the ideal partner in every respect, into the Canon Group.

“Through the merger of Canon and Océ, we believe that we will be able to realise clear benefits, not only in the area of R&D, but also in terms of product mix and marketing and are confident that this winning combination will contribute greatly to our goal of becoming the overall number one presence in the printing industry.”

Earlier this year, €3bn-turnover Océ announced it was to cut an additional 800 positions as part of an ongoing restructuring programme in a bid to ensure its position as an independent company.

Speaking about the deal, Océ’s chief executive Rokus van Iperen said: “There is a great fit between our companies, which share similar values and a commitment to technology and innovation.

“The tie-up provides us with access to a huge sales network in Asia, as well as mutual cross-selling opportunities in Europe and the US.”

Print journalist and consultant Andrew Tribute said that despite being a good fit for each other, the partnership would not create a market-leading operation.

However, he added that, while HP and Xerox hold a greater market presence, the deal could help improve the position of Océ’s JetStream in the continuous-feed sector.

However, he also said the partnership would need to accelerate the migration of mono users to colour.

A spokesperson for Xerox added that Canon’s move “endorsed” what Xerox had been doing in the same sector, but warned that the new business would also need the right workflow and business development tools in order to succeed.

Last month, a major shareholder, Orbis Fund Management, which owns around 10% of the business, opposed the Canon deal saying that it will not sell its equity at the current price offered by Canon.