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Kyocera rejigs printers with Mita mate

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Kyocera is to extend its Ecosys printer brand by licensing the products to OEMs. But Koji Seki, director of the Japanese firm's printer business and now trustee of the bankrupt Mita group, claimed the move will not weaken the Ecosys brand. He said that Kyocera wanted to penetrate markets where it currently has no presence and one of the ways was to license the Ecosys range to OEMs. The company has enough capacity at its Kamichi Japanese plant to do that, he said. Seki said that Kyocera will leverage its trusteeship of Mita in a number of ways: "It has copy fax and multi-function machines and marketing and sales for them. It also has a worldwide sales channel." Those could benefit Kyocera, he said. "I can think of three areas where it could help. One is the research and development it has, the other is that it covers the copy machine markt from the low end to the high end. And a high speed printer is required by the market." He said that Mita has the technology to develop such a printer. "On Mita's side, they don’t have digital technology," Seki said. "The sales channel that use products is the same channels. Nita can add printer products into their channels." Japanese courts have appointed Kyocera to sort out Mita's affairs until October 1999. At that time, Seki, who is the Kyocera director in charge of the plans, has to deliver a set of proposals to the courts. But it is all but certain that the courts agree to a merger of the two companies. Meanwhile, Yoshihiro Mita, ex-president of the company, was re-arrested by Japanese police on Tuesday and charged with bribery. Two weeks ago, he and another Mita employee were charged with fraud. ®

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