Global News at a glance



Meiko Shokai launches US affiliate


Japan’s biggest paper shredder company, Meiko Shokai, has launched its first US affiliate in California – MS Secure Shred. The affiliate is to start shipping products by the end of the month.


Wal-Mart office chairs in safety recall


A US federal safety agency has announced the recall of over 750,000 office chairs sold exclusively by Wal-Mart. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that the legs and back of the Mainstays Associate Office Chairs pose a risk of break or tipping over. Wal-Mart said its US stores had sold the chairs nationwide from April 2003 to April 2006 for about $36.


Dell to offer free recycling


Dell has announced plans to provide free recycling of Dell-branded products as part of a new global recycling policy. Dell currently offers consumers no-charge recycling of used computers or printers with the purchase of a new Dell computer or printer. The company plans to launch the new service in the US by September and globally by the end of November.


BIFMA calls for government talks


The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) has called on the Canadian Government to halt a plan which it believes would damage the industry. Government purchasers are reportedly planning to implement a new purchasing programme that would cancel assigned standing offers.


MyOfficeProducts acquires Act Office City


MyOfficeProducts has closed on the acquisition of independent office supply dealer Act Office City. The deal marks the third acquisition made by MyOfficeProducts in the past 15 months. The company is expecting revenues to near $60 million this year.


office2office acquires Alpha Office


office2Office has acquired Alpha Office, a privately-owned, independent OP company with a turnover of £10.7 million ($19.8 million).


Botswana to permit VoIP


Botswana plans to sell between 40 and 50 percent of state-owned Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). Botswana’s finance minister has also announced plans to permit private internet service providers to offer Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services beginning as soon as this month.


Court rules on pulp mill


The International Court of Justice has rejected Argentina’s lawsuit asking for a halt to the proposed construction of two paper pulp mills on the banks of the Uruguyan river. The ruling marks the latest development in the dispute between Uruguay and Argentina over alleged environmental degradation and violations of bilateral agreements regarding the construction of the two mills owned by Spanish company ENCE and Finnish firm Botnia.


Colop acquires Unigraphics


Stamp manufacturer Colop has acquired Unigraphics. The deal sees the UK’s second largest manufacturer of stamps Mark C Brown join the Colop group reinforcing the company’s position in the UK market. Unigraphics has been the sole importer of Colop products in Sweden for the past 20 years.


CE expands into Turkey


Corporate Express (CE) has partnered with Istanbul-based Aktuel Officeware. Focused entirely on the B2B market, Aktuel Officeware generates 40 percent of its business via e-business solutions. CE now covers 26 countries in Europe, 13 through its own operations and another 13 through partnerships.


Wal-Mart in Indian expansion talks


Wal-Mart Stores is said to be in talks with DLF Universal, an Indian real estate firm, to explore the possibility franchise deal, according to reports. Current Indian legislation only permits multiple-brand retailers such as Wal-Mart to operate as franchises or cash-and-carries.


Revamp for African OP show


The South African Association for Stationery, Home & Office Products (SHOP-SA), is rebranding its annual NOPSA Trade Show. The new show, Shop-X 2006 will be hosted in Johannesburg (7-9 September) and Durban (21-22 August) and present a range of school, home and OP equipment, stationery and services.


Win for Lenovo employees


Lenovo has announced the establishment of a supplemental retirement plan for its employees in China. Lenovo is the first Chinese company to register its corporate pension programme with China’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security and one of the first in China’s IT industry to establish a corporate pension programme for its employees.


Vietnamese supplier ships overseas


Stationery distributor Hong Ha Company, which recently began distributing notebooks to the US, plans to expand into other countries. The company said it is negotiating with partners in Japan and Africa for possible new contracts.


Danka sells Australian unit


Danka Business Systems has agreed to sell its Australian unit to Onesource Group for $12.6 million in cash. Danka said it sold the unit, which had revenue of $50.2 million, because it did not fit with the company’s focus on Europe and the US. It said the proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes.