Global News at a Glance

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Domtar in production cuts
Canada-based paper manufacturer Domtar has announced the closure of a US mill and production cuts in Canada. The moves will reduce production capacity by 342,000 tonnes. CEO Raymond Royer said the measures were required to strengthen Domtar’s position as the most efficient producer in North America.

TriMega announces record rebates to dealers
US purchasing association TriMega says that it made a record $29.1 million in rebate payments to its dealer members in 2007. This represents an increase of almost 12 percent on the 2006 figure, and caps what the association has called a "banner year".

Boston man files suit against HP and Staples
A Boston resident filed a lawsuit against HP and Staples alleging that the two companies colluded to keep HP compatible cartridges off Staples’ shelves. Ranjit Bedi filed the lawsuit in the US District Court in Boston, claiming that HP had paid Staples $100 million in ‘market development funds’ in return for Staples not stocking non-HP cartridges for HP printers. Bedi is seeking an injunction against the allegedly anti-competitive HP-Staples agreement, unspecified damages and class action status for the lawsuit.

Dell and Tesco in European retail agreement
Dell desktop and notebook computers are to be sold through Tesco retail stores in Europe. From last month, Dell XPS and Inspiron models will be available in Tesco stores, mainly in the UK, but also in selected stores in Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Arjowiggins eyes Greenfield
Arjowiggins is in negotiations to buy leading French recycled pulp maker Greenfield. Greenfield, a subsidiary of Canadian company Cascades, produced almost 130,000 tonnes of FSC certified recycled pulp in 2006. Arjowiggins said that the proposed acquisition highlights the company’s commitment to developing environmentally-friendly fine papers, the market for which is expected to grow strongly over the next few years.

Asia File completes Plastoreg acquisition
Malaysian manufacturer Asia File has completed the acquisition of German company Plastoreg in a deal thought to be worth around €14 million. The acquisition marks the expansion of Asia File into the European market.

New aftermarket event in India
A new event for the remanufactured and compatible ink, toner and cartridge market is to be held in India in March 2008. ReIndia Expo will take place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from 6-8 March. The event is organised by Recharger Magazine, which already holds similar events in Europe, China and South America.

RKV joins BPGI
Swedish office dealer RKV joined BPGI at the beginning of January 2008. RKV has 19 independent dealer members with combined revenues of $235 million. The addition of RKV reinforces BPGI’s position as the third largest office products organisation in the world with more than $12.5 billion in combined annual dealer sales.

Timmermans becomes Spicers
Belgium-based wholesaler Timmermans last month officially changed its name to Spicers Benelux, just over two years after the company was acquired by Spicers.

Xerox still top in EU office paper survey
Xerox has once again come top in Opticom International Research’s Brand Equity Tracking Survey for office paper brands in Europe. In fact, the top five spots in the survey remain unchanged from last year, with Impega, HP, Viking and Navigator occupying the next four places respectively. Notable upward movers include Clairefontaine, Antalis, Motif, Discovery and Corporate Express, while the newcomers to the list are Executive, Inapa Tecno and Inácopia.

Chinese toughen export licence regulations
Chinese authorities have increased the number of product categories that require export licences. Seven new product categories, including stationery, have been added, according to a government official. He also specified that the licences now have to be renewed every three years, as opposed to every five years previously.

Otto invests in Japan
German mail order group Otto has bought out its Japanese partner Sumitomo’s stake in their joint venture Otto-Sumisho business. Otto Group agreed to acquire Sumitomo’s 49 percent stake with effect from the end of December, creating Otto Japan. Otto plans to double the business’ sales to ¥60 billion by 2010.

Pelikan Hardcopy targets Asian markets
Pelikan Hardcopy launched its products into the Asian market in January. The first market is Malaysia where successful product trials have led to a wider roll-out in the new year. The company has opened an office in the east of the country to support local dealers and provide logistics support.