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Speedy Will Open Centers in Japan : Service: The Anaheim-based firm is to announce a 50-year joint venture for light printing.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Speedy International Inc. is expected to announce Monday a 50-year joint venture agreement with two major Japanese corporations to open American Speedy Printing Centers in Japan.

Anaheim-based Speedy International has teamed up with Canon Sales Inc., the marketing arm of the Japanese office equipment and electronics giant, and Maruzen Co. Ltd., a large Japanese retailer, to form American Speedy of Japan Inc. The companies plan to open the first of five pilot printing shops in Tokyo in September.

Speedy International’s parent, Kaiser International Inc. in Anaheim, owns the licensing rights to American Speedy franchises in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Japan and eight other Pacific Rim countries. American Speedy Centers Inc., based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., operates 750 print shops in the United States and Canada, 106 of which are licensed to Kaiser International in the United States.

Previous efforts by U.S. quick-printing companies to establish operations in Japan have failed because of stiff opposition from the Japanese printing industry. Speedy is the first U.S. quick-printing firm to team up with large Japanese partners to do business in that country.

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“While previous American attempts failed, we feel sure that this venture will be successful because we have adapted our product line to work with, and not compete against, the Japanese light printing industry,” said William Culp, Speedy’s president and chief financial officer.

“We’re not taking the Japanese quick printers’ business away from them. Instead, we’re helping them develop new markets for their products and services.”

American Speedy of Japan is 25% owned by Canon Sales Inc., the Japanese marketing arm of Canon Inc., 25% by Tokyo-based Maruzen Co. and 50% by Speedy International.

Culp said Kaiser International paid American Speedy less than $10 million for franchise rights in Japan.

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The U.S.-Japanese venture hopes to open hundreds of print shops throughout Japan and hopes to achieve sales of more than $700 million by the year 2000. By then, Culp said, Speedy International’s earnings from the venture are expected to be at least $4.2 million annually. This does not include sales of software, printing equipment and other machines.

Each center will have a computer system that can translate material from Japanese to English, but the number of languages will increase as the need develops, he said.


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