Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HP could sell printing division within two years, reports claim (???)

An article on ….. says this …..

HP could sell printing division within two years, reports claim

By Tim Sheahan Tuesday, 30 August 2011

HP could divest its entire printing division within the next two years in a bid to become a low volume, high value-add product provider, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) news service has claimed.

While there is no active sale process for the $25bn Imaging and Printing Group (IPG), Mergermarket has quoted industry sources as saying that the sale of IPG would appear to be necessary to HP's transformation into an enterprise solutions company.

Earlier this month, HP chief executive Léo Apotheker said the company was looking into the future of its PC hardware division, which contributes nearly a third of revenues but operates on narrow margins.

This could result in it being sold or spun off as it finds itself caught between cheaper rivals from Asia and Apple taking market share for higher-end consumer devices.

Mergermarket claimed that HP could be willing to shed its IPG within two years of spinning off the PC business but would be likely to keep hold of the printing division during the next several years of transition.

HP was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

In its third quarter results to 31 July, HP reported group revenues down 2% to $31.2bn.The company's printing division added $6.1bn (£3.7bn) to the IT giant's $31.2bn net revenues, down 1% year-on-year.

Sales of its commercial presses came in at $1.3bn for the quarter down 7% year-on-year and 10% sequentially, although hardware units rose 1%, and sales were marginally up for the nine months.

But, in my opinion, I don’t see this happening. Who would be able to bite of such a large printing hardware business …. Canon? Ricoh? Dell?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3D Printing Technology - 3D Printers from Objet

Admittedly, I’m not an expert when it comes to “3D Printing Technology.” (Actually, I’m not an expert on anything, but, whatever.)

This morning, I noticed a piece on LinkedIn that mentioned that Entire Imaging (Toronto), led by Ernie Chiodo, long one of the reprographics industry’s most progressive owner/managers, has installed a new 3D printer, an Objet 500 Connex500 3D printer.

So, simply because of Ernie’s reputation and credentials, I decided to locate and visit Objet’s web-site.

Here’s the address of Objet’s web-site:

Objet has a lot of different models of 3D printers, and, if you are a reprographer interested in diversifying the services you offer, you should, in my opinion, visit Objet’s web-site and read up on what they say about their equipment, applications for 3D printing, etc.

Objet has offices in different parts of the world. Their U.S. office is located in a suburb of Boston. I’m going to contact them to see if I can get a demonstration of their 3D printing systems.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nova Blue Reprographics filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on January 14, 2011

I've previously reported on this blog about the Chapter 11 Bankruptcies of Florida Reprographics (Tampa, FL) and United Reprographics (Seattle, WA).

Somewhat belated news, but I’m just now finding out about this; Nova Blue Reprographics, one of my former competitors in the Washington, DC market area, filed Chapter 11, back on January 14, 2011.

This particular bankruptcy case is still on-going, and, based on the documents I reviewed this morning, this bankruptcy case will probably go on for quite some time.

Nova Blue Reprographics was established by Richard Bartlett, back around 1965, so it is, most definitely, one of the “older” reprographics companies operating in the DC market area. Actually, Nova Blue’s primary reprographics operations are located in Northern Virginia suburban locations. To the best of my recollection, Nova Blue never established any operations in Washington, DC or in the Maryland suburbs. Evidently, Bartlett owns other reprographics operations in central Florida (Kissimmee, FL called “Ocean Blue”, is one of those. I don’t know if his other Florida locations are still operating.)

Nova Blue was never considered to be a major player in the reprographics picture in the Washington-Baltimore Common Market Area, at least that’s my own personal opinion, having been in business in that Market Area, myself, from 1970 until 1988, when Nova Blue was one of our competitors in Northern Virginia. As to the bankruptcy of Nova Blue, I don’t think that this is the first time that Nova Blue went BK; if I’m recalling this correctly, Nova Blue went Chapter 11 years ago; I don’t remember exactly when that was, I think it was probably around 1990-1992.

I pulled off of the Internet several documents filed in the current BK case. But, I’m only going to post (in my Google Docs library of documents) two of the documents I pulled off the Internet.

One of those documents is the original Chapter 11 filing, filed on January 14 2011. Here’s the Internet address for that document: (It’s a large file, so give it some time to load!):

The other document is a VERY INTERESTING document. Evidently, the BK Court installed a Trustee to run the company (I think that means that Richard Bartlett is not a debtor-in-possession of the company; he’s been replaced by the Trustee), and the document I’ve posted is a very recent (July 25, 2011) report from the Trustee, that speaks to the issue of what should be done with Nova Blue. If the Trustee’s report and plan are approved, it looks like Nova Blue will be closing a few of its distant VA locations (those not in the DC suburbs) and will be consolidating its Northern Virginia locations …. and then continue to operate. My interpretation of the Trustee’s report – the Trustee believe that it would not be in the best interests of Nova Blue’s creditors to liquidate/dissolve Nova Blue; he believes that the creditors will fare better if Nova Blue continues to operate. Tyler Barrett, son of Richard Barrett, is working alongside the Trustee to operate the business. The Trustee, Mr. Strauss, might be in need of help from reprographics industry veterans, so, those of you who have time, how about lending him a hand.

The Trustee’s report is located at this Internet address: (It’s a large file, so give it some time to load!):

If you want to follow this particular case, sign up / register at I don’t plan on doing any further reporting about this case.

PLP Offers Competitive Upgrade for Repro Desk Users

One of my west-coast friends sent me an e-mail, the other day, to tell me about an upgrade promotion that PLP is offering. As a public service to my blog-visitors, I thought I’d post this on my blog, just in case you missed the announcement about this upgrade offer from PLP.

PLP Offers Competitive Upgrade for Repro Desk Users

An important decision lies ahead if you are using Repro Desk version 4.3 or 1.6. These products have been discontinued and are no longer being maintained or developed. This has several implications:

Your existing software is obsolete

If you are replacing a 9800 with a TDS series printer, Repro Desk 4.3/1.6 is not an option

Existing software defects (bugs) will not be fixed

There will no further enhancements or new features

Customers who have analyzed the available upgrade paths to either Repro Desk Select or Repro Desk Professional have found:

1. The upgrade is expensive due to server requirements. Estimates ranged from $5,000 to $8,000 for the hardware, operating system, database software, backup software, etc.

2. The workflow is significantly different (described as "cumbersome" by several customers) when compared to Repro Desk 4.3/1.6.

3. Neither Repro Desk Select nor Repro Desk Professional adequately address PDF processing issues such as speed and image quality.

4. Switching to PlotWorks Pro is the best option.

PLP is offering a competitive upgrade from Repro Desk to PlotWorks Pro through September 30, 2011. You will have to make a change a some point in the future.

Make the change now to save thousands of dollars with this time-limited offer.

Learn more about this offer:

See the details at

Call us at +1-703-740-8909

Two Firms Defy Investor Views on Pay Vote Frequency (???)

Article found on

Two Firms Defy Investor Views on Pay Vote Frequency

By Ted Allen on July 8, 2011 3:56 PM

While most U.S. companies have accepted shareholders’ views on the frequency of future “say on pay” votes, there are at least two exceptions. Annaly Capital Management, a New York-based real estate investment trust, and American Reprographics, a California-based document-management firm, both have said they will hold triennial votes, even though investors gave majority support for annual votes.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, shareholder votes on pay vote frequency--like the advisory votes themselves--are non-binding, but most boards have quickly acceded to investors’ wishes on this issue, even at companies where management strongly preferred less frequent votes.

“It’s a bad precedent to ignore a majority of shareholders,” noted Lisa Lindsley of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, a long-time advocate of annual pay votes. “Companies that choose to ignore their shareowners are inviting additional scrutiny of their board and pay practices.


Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management, another proponent of annual “say on pay” votes, expressed a similar view. “Clearly, companies disregarding shareholder input without an extensive and extraordinary explanation risk real push back from share owners,” he said. 

The vote wasn’t close at either firm. There was 70 percent support at both Annaly and American Reprographics for an annual frequency. So far, 608 companies made recommendations for triennial or biennial votes that were not followed by their investors, according to ISS data.

Annaly justified its decision by citing the non-binding nature of the frequency vote.

“The Board has considered the appropriate frequency of future non-binding advisory votes regarding compensation awarded to its named executive officers. Among other factors, the Board considered the voting results at the Company’s 2011 Annual Meeting with respect to the non-binding advisory vote regarding the frequency of non-binding advisory votes regarding compensation awarded to its named executive officers. The Board has determined that future non-binding advisory votes regarding compensation awarded to its named executive officers will be submitted to shareholders of the Company every three years. The Board will continue to evaluate this decision annually,” the company said in a May 20 filing. 

American Reprographics argued that a triennial frequency was appropriate given the three-year employment contracts that it recently reached with its named executive officers.

“The Company believes that any attempt to modify the terms of those contracts prior to expiration could pose an executive retention risk to the Company. In addition, the Company has not historically engaged in problematic pay practices. Rather, compensation paid to the Company’s named executive officers in prior years reveals a practice of curtailing executive compensation in response to a challenging economic environment. A three-year frequency cycle will also allow stockholders to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the Company’s executive compensation program on long-term performance of the Company. For these reasons, and those set forth in the Company’s 2011 proxy statement, the Company has decided to conduct future stockholder advisory votes on executive compensation every three years until the next required advisory vote on frequency of stockholder advisory votes on executive compensation,” American Reprographics said in a May 3 filing.

While companies are required to hold frequency votes just once every six years, Annaly and American Reprographics could face shareholder proposals on this matter in 2012. Under the final SEC’s “say on pay” rules, companies may omit shareholder proposals that seek a different frequency if they adopt a frequency that is supported by a majority shareholder vote. 

It remains to be seen whether investors will oppose these firms’ directors in the absence of a pay vote. Annaly received 75.1 percent support for its pay practices this year, while American Reprographics earned 99 percent approval.

A hat tip to the Davis Polk corporate governance blog for pointing out these filings.

Joel’s comment:

In my humble opinion, compensation paid to ARC’s officers is quite reasonable, considering the size of the company and considering, or should I said, comparing, compensation paid by other “printing industry” companies to their officers. There are larger printing companies than ARC who are paying a lot more to their officers than ARC is. Cenveo is a good example.