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Friday, Feb 07, 2003

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WeP Peripherals to tap market

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WEP Peripherals Ltd (formerly Wipro ePeripherals Ltd), a diversified peripheral manufacturer and printing solutions provider, is actively pursuing its strategy to tap the Indian market with its initial public offering (IPO).

The Chief Operating Officer and Director on the WeP board, Mr P.P.R. Rao, on Thursday said that the company was exploring the IPO route and would enter the same as soon as the markets were favourable.

This was aimed to provide the right reward to the shareholders who comprise employees and a few channel partners holding 61 per cent stake, while the rest is being held by the parent company, Wipro.

Mr Rao said, "The IPO is not aimed at infusing cash as we are cash positive and we work with very low working capital. But the objective is to reward the shareholders. The size and timing of the IPO will be decided by the board. If all goes well, we may even tap the market by the year-end.''

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Rao said that the peripherals division of Wipro, spun off into a separate company, was set to register total revenues of about Rs 230 crore and planned to grow at about 20 per cent per annum. "We are also actively considering acquisitions as the valuations are very attractive."

WeP, which commenced operations in 1986, produced the first Dot Matrix printers in 1987 and currently accounts for about 39 per cent market share in the segment.

Mr Rao said, "While in six years we clocked one lakh printers, in about a decade yet another nine lakh printers were sold. We are commemorating the event of crossing one-million-printer mark.''

Elaborating about the company's future plans, he said the focus would be to continue achieving leadership in the digital printing area and the company planned to offer a whole range of convergence solutions built around this space.

"Having launched our printing outsourcing solutions, we have a clientele of about 300 corporates . We expect this servicing space to go up substantially as companies are looking at focussing on core areas of business and outsourcing most of their services to save on costs and bring efficiencies,'' he said.

The company has made two strategic acquisitions, namely Godrej's Hyderabad unit and Select Technologies. The acquisition of Godrej's unit increased the total turnover from just about Rs 20 crore in 2001 to about Rs 50 crore now.

Likewise, following the acquisition of Select Technologies, the company has expanded its product portfolio, particularly in the areas of networking security.

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