Home Companies News Canon Has Acquired 17% Stake in I.R.I.S. Group
Canon Has Acquired 17% Stake in I.R.I.S. Group
Companies - News
Written by Dave Cunningham   
Friday, 17 July 2009

          Canon, via its subsidiary Canon Europa NV, has acquired a 17% stake in I.R.I.S Group for approximately €22 million. The stake includes I.R.I.S. Group shares which were previously held by Sofinim NV, Compagnie à Nationale de Portefeuille SA (CNP), as well as approximately 60% of the I.R.I.S shares held by Pierre De Muelenaere and Etienne Van de Kerckhove. Both will remain co‐CEOs of the I.R.I.S. Group.

           The two directors who currently represent AvH and CNP will be replaced by two directors from Canon. The other two current independent directors will remain in place and a third independent director will be appointed.
          Canon intends to develop its business partnership in the area of products and solutions sales with I.R.I.S. on an EMEA basis. The company is committed to providing its customers with solutions for document compression and OCR, invoice recognition, large volume scanning and indexing, digital mailroom, forms and free forms extraction.
           Ryoichi Bamba, President & CEO of Canon Europe explains: “We are looking forward to developing a closer commercial relationship with such a talented company. I.R.I.S and Canon share a belief in the importance of R&D, and a complementary approach to the strategic development of products and solutions for the document solutions market. Investment in the solutions business is part of our long term strategy and through future collaboration we are confident both companies will increase the value of the services and solutions we can offer to our customers.”
          Pierre De Muelenaere, co‐CEO, I.R.I.S. Group declares: “I founded I.R.I.S. in 1987, with the financial and managerial support of AvH. Over the last 10 years, (the I.R.I.S. IPO took place in 1999), I maintained my stake in I.R.I.S. Group practically unchanged. I have now decided to sell 60% of my shares to Canon, who will be an excellent commercial partner and shareholder of I.R.I.S. and will nicely complement our other quality shareholders. I will remain the largest non‐corporate shareholder in I.R.I.S. Group, still totally committed to the success and development of this company in the years to come. With the arrival of Canon, I would like to thank CNP and AVH for having supported the growth of I.R.I.S. and passing the torch to an industrial partner who will further help develop the company.”
          Etienne Van de Kerckhove , co‐CEO, I.R.I.S. Group declares: “I am very happy and proud that Canon is willing to further develop its relationship with I.R.I.S. Arrangements are in place to maintain the independence of the company, so allowing maximum flexibility, autonomy and ability to grow the business with all our existing partners. I.R.I.S. has been successful for many years, thanks to the confidence of our customers and business partners, and thanks to the dedication and commitment of our managers and teams. With the assistance of all our teams, I will continue to work hard to grow this company further, to the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

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