Landa: No cutbacks or layoffs at Indigo

In his first interview since HP acquired his company, Indigo founder Benny Landa says he plans to stay with the company, and that he will tell HP chief Carly Fiorina that the real fight for a $400 billion market begins now.

”I am not leaving Indigo NV (Nasdaq: INDG),” company founder Benzion (Benny) Landa told “Globes”, after Hewlett Packard (HP; NYSE: HWP) acquired Indigo for $629 million. “I will continue to closely accompany the company, along with my new job of strategic advisor to HP chairwoman Carly Fiorina.”

Landa, more patriotic than ever, continues to talk about his great dream. “In the deal with HP, I wanted to put Israel and Indigo on the map. This deal will eventually make everyone realize that Israeli digital printing technology is the best in the world,” Landa says.

Landa continues, ”Indigo was the first in the world with digital offset. For eight years, we waged a battle for world leadership, and we won. We have a 75% market share, even though our competitors have the advantage of marketing channels like IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Xerox (NYSE: XRX). The real fight for a $400 billion market begins now.”

”The romance with HP has been a long one,” Landa added. “Like every romance, there was a stage of initial contacts and first impressions. We passed that stage three years ago, when we signed the strategic alliance with HP.

”The next stage,” Landa went on, “was living together and seeing whether we could get along. That is why HP invested $100 million and signed an OEM agreement. Now we are getting married. If you ask me, it was obvious we would get there eventually,” declares Landa.

”Globes”: Is Indigo no longer Israeli?

Landa: ”The company will continue to be independent. It will simply become a division of HP - the Indigo division. Its products will continue to bear our logo. I guarantee there will no cutbacks or layoffs; on the contrary; HP will invest in Indigo and expand R&D in Israel. President and COO Rafi Maor will continue to manage the company with the help of executives from HP.”

Landa dismissed claims that the $253 million bonus promised Indigo if it meets a $1.6 billion sales target within three years is unrealistic. “It is true that our current annual sales are only $200 million, but Indigo’s most recent plan involves sales of $1 billion over the next three years – without any help from HP.”

Published by Israel's Business Arena on September 9, 2001

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