April 17, 2012 - 16:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Japanese electronics giant Toshiba said Tuesday, April 17 it would pay about $850.0 million for IBM's retail products unit, with the U.S. firm saying it would create the world's leading point-of-sale company, AFP reported.
The transaction was expected to be completed later in the year, with the move aimed at retailers who "will benefit from accelerated development of new products and solutions", the Japanese firm said in a statement.
The deal comes as Japanese firms take advantage of a high yen to explore overseas expansion, with the stronger currency making their investment in foreign firms relatively cheaper.
The purchase will help Toshiba expand its point-of-sale (POS) systems business, from scanners and self-service kiosks for tallying up customer purchases to software that helps manage inventory.
Norio Sasaki, Toshiba's chief executive, said it would help the firm expand in North America, Europe "and the emerging economies."
IBM's Retail Store Solutions business, which last year posted sales of $1.15 billion with about 1,000 workers worldwide, is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Tec, a division of the Japanese firm.
Toshiba and other Japanese exporters have suffered plunging profits as the strong yen, which helps fund foreign expansion, also makes their own products more expensive overseas amid weak global demand for digital products.
In January, Toshiba more than halved its net profit forecast for the year to March to 65.0 billion yen from 140.0 billion yen, while it also cut its full-year sales forecast to 6.2 trillion yen from 7.0 trillion yen.