Anaheim Firm to Start Copy Shop Chain in Europe

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Kaiser International Inc., the master franchiser of American Speedy Printing Centers in California, announced Monday that it has purchased European franchising rights from the Michigan quick-printing company and will invest at least $6 million to start a chain of copy shops in Europe.

The European deal is part of Kaiser's aggressive overseas expansion strategy. Two months ago, the Anaheim-based firm signed a 50-year joint venture pact with Canon Sales Inc. and Mauzen Co. Ltd. of Japan to establish about 900 quick printers in that country.

Kaiser also said Monday that it is negotiating an agreement with an Indian conglomerate to establish pilot printing stores in Bombay and New Delhi by the end of the year. William Culp, Kaiser president, added that the company is negotiating a similar pact to open stores in Taiwan.

Culp said that Kaiser, through its new Speedy International Europe unit, will open European headquarters in Frankfurt in January and "will begin searching for joint venture partners in Eastern and Western Europe." He expects that 70% of the European centers will be in Western Europe.

He said the company plans to open pilot stores in Germany and France by the end of 1991. The European deal comes after a successful two-year test of 18 pilot stores in the United Kingdom.

There are about 800 Speedy print shops in the United States, with most in the Midwest, the East and California. There are 116 Speedy stores in this state, Culp said.

Kaiser sees much opportunity to expand printing services in Europe with the economic unification planned for Western Europe and the shifts to market economies in Eastern Europe, he said.

Of the Eastern European nations, Kaiser believes that Hungary offers the best opportunity for franchise operations because it has a relatively advanced economy and printing industry, said Stephan Metz, sales development vice president for Kaiser and president of Speedy International Europe.

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