Gestetner Laser Systems will make its debut on the European and US markets early in 1988, following last month’s announcement that Gestetner Holdings Plc is to pay $A6.75m for a 10% stake in Sydney-based laser printer manufacturer Impact Systems (CI No 746). Office equipment veteran Gestetner will pay $A0.65 a share for 5m shares, giving […]
Gestetner Laser Systems will make its debut on the European and US markets early in 1988, following last month’s announcement that Gestetner Holdings Plc is to pay $A6.75m for a 10% stake in Sydney-based laser printer manufacturer Impact Systems (CI No 746). Office equipment veteran Gestetner will pay $A0.65 a share for 5m shares, giving it around 10% of Impact’s capital, gaining a further 5m over the next five years, at $A0.70 per share. Laser Systems will be responsible for the initial marketing and distribution of Impact’s printers in Europe providing a springboard for expansion into the US. The range includes eight, 15- and 20-page per minute machines with 50-page per minute and colour models being introduced during the course of next year. Claiming 40% of the Australian market with its 8ppm models, Impact’s bottom-end LS800-01 comes standard with a single internal font and 256Kb memory. It is fully upgradable to the LS800-04 featuring 11 fonts with an estimated 8,000 variations, 23 bar codes and a standard 2.2Mb memory expandable to 4.5Mb. Impact also claims to have had LCD displays long before competitors Canon and Hewlett-Packard. With the proprietary Laser Command Language users can draw lines and boxes as well as access a range of shades using no more than 256Kb of memory. Canon engines The Lineprinter L2000-01, 20 page per minute printer has a drum life of 1m pages and a resolution of 300 by 300 dots per inch. At the top of the range is the L2000-03, 64 font model. It works with anything from mainframes to local area networks and can emulate Diablo 630, Qume Sprint 5/9, NEC 3515/8815, IBM Proprinter, Hewlett-Packard LaserJet and LaserJet Plus. Impact puts the success of its printers down to their powerful controllers and ability to interface to IBM, DEC and Wang mainframe and minicomputer installations as well as micros and word processors. Laser Systems sees the machines initially coming from Australia but eventually only the controllers and electronics will be sourced there. Along with the Canon engines made in Amsterdam they will be sent to sent to Svenborg in Denmark for assembly. In addition to its recent deal, in the next month or so Impact is to announce an agreement worth billions of dollars with one of the top four computer manuafacturers. Although it wasn’t giving away any names it did say the company would give it access to large capacity memory chips at competitive prices. The Australian company reckons on taking a 15% of the European laser printer market by 1991. It claims that the Australian market is one of the toughest in the world to crack with European companies taking full advantage of their subsidiaries, the Japanese using it as a test tube and the business-wise Americans moving in at every opportunity. If it can capture 40% market share there, it says, then it can make a noise anywhere. Impact cites lack of competition for university graduates and generous grants from the government in its favour as it optimistically forecasts sales of $A47m this year and $A400m in 1991. Printer prices range from $1,875 to $21,875.