By James Wells
SYDNEY: TDK Australia has told electrical retailers that despite its parent company agreeing to sell its sales and marketing arm to Imation for $US300 million later this year, it is business as usual.
“What has been announced is an agreement to do something. In so far as the press release is concerned it is the closing date when it all happens. Until then it is business as usual,” TDK Australia managing director, Scott Brownscombe told Current.com.au.
“In the meantime, TDK Australia, as far as its customers are concerned, will be doing business as it has been for the last 20 years.
“After that date, I can’t say for certain what will happen but as I said in my letter to our customers and key stakeholders, we will be keeping them informed ,” he said.
“I think it is an opportunity for TDK to continue to be in the marketplace as a global brand. This is what our people in Japan, the TDK directors, are saying and they believe this an opportunity for TDK to grow and become stronger.
“The optical media market is going through some rationalisation and TDK wants to be involved in the future marketplace. We want to be part of a stronger presence both locally and internationally and this is a way for TDK to implement a strategy that gives us the best chance to do this.
"TDK will be a major shareholder of Imation and TDK will continue to manufacture and go on to spend money in research and development of products that will have the TDK brand on it.
"TDK is not letting go and it is not selling out. It is a complex deal that involves transfer of sales and marketing. Imation is a company that has been quite open in saying that they are interested in growing on a global basis. Imation as a brand has taken over other brands including Memorex last year.
“Imation has consolidated its brands under single ownership and they are brands that are continuing within their company. This is a bit like perhaps the Woolworths or Coles group that are consolidating using various methodologies within a particular industry. That is what it looks like from an outside point of view and from a retailer’s point of view.”
Brownscombe said that the two companies are operating independently at this stage pending any developments regarding the takeover proposal.
“We are independent, we will be independent, and our agreement demands we are independent. We have no contact with Imation at this stage,” he said.
“I have briefed the sales representation of our company and I would be happy for any retailer who requires any information to contact me directly.”
Current.com.au believes that a takeover of the Japanese TDK by US-based Imation will provide the American company with over 60 per cent global market share in the optical media business which will then compete with brands including Verbatim, Maxell, Sony and Ricoh.