Dawn of new era of growth as IOT bought by electronics giant

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A Yorkshire copier dealer has been sold to Japanese electronics giant Sharp.

Wakefield-based IOT, previously known as the Eurocopy Group, is one of the UK’s biggest independent copier dealers and has provided print and copy systems to large and small businesses for more than 40 years.

Paul Molyneux, Sharp UK’s managing director, said the undisclosed deal signalled the beginning of “exciting growth” for both businesses.

He added: “IOT’s position as a very stable, profit-focused business with a strong service-based culture is the result of an approach Sharp are keen to learn from and pursue aggressively. We bring the strength of a global brand and an ongoing commitment to product development that will deliver future market opportunities.”

IOT employs 173 people operating from seven offices across the UK and had a turnover of £18.5m for the year to September.

Chief executive Martin McCarney said: “I’m delighted IOT will now be part of the internationally recognised and trusted Sharp brand. Clients will benefit from the best of both worlds; IOT’s outstanding service-led expertise supplemented with the resources and backing of a major global manufacturer.”.

Pinsent Masons, led by corporate partners Martin Shaw and Philip Goldsborough and corporate associate Michael Walby, advised IOT on the deal. Sharp was advised by Baker & McKenzie.

Mr Walby said: “We are delighted to have delivered a successful outcome for the shareholders on this transaction and wish IOT’s continuing management team every success.”