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RICOH ACQUIRES NEW JERSEY-BASED OFFICE MACHINE DEALER

 WEST CALDWELL, N.J., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricoh Corporation today announced it had acquired American Office Equipment Company, Inc. (AOE), a privately held business machine dealer, headquartered in Fairfield, N.J. AOE sells and services Ricoh copier and facsimiles through five offices serving New Jersey, Manhattan and Rockland County, N.Y. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.
 AOE will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Corporation. Carl Davis, president and founder, will continue as president. No personnel changes are anticipated.
 AOE, a $16 million company with approximately 145 employees, was recognized as the 22nd fastest growing privately held company in New Jersey in 1991, according to the "Business Journal of New Jersey." In 1992, AOE sales grew approximately 28 percent.
 AOE was founded by Mr. Davis in March 1978. It began selling the Ricoh line of office machines in the early 1980s, and has grown steadily since to become one of the strongest independent dealers selling and servicing Ricoh equipment in the U.S. AOE has won Ricoh's coveted regional service award in nine of the past 10 years.
 "We're excited by the opportunity to move closer to the Ricoh family," said Mr. Davis. "The increased support that will be created by this situation will make it possible for our company to grow even more strongly than it has in the past."
 "The acquisition creates a strong presence and ability to market Ricoh's full product line within the geographic area of our headquarters," said Jim Ivy, executive vice president, national marketing group, Ricoh Corporation. "AOE and Ricoh headquarters are separated by only a few miles. With all our local contacts and resources, it makes sense for us to be able to more fully support and participate in this very successful dealership," he explained.
 "This acquisition also permits us to move closer to Ricoh's customers. In today's rapidly changing office machine market, where increasingly our customers will be seeking digital office equipment that will be connected to their personal computers and local area networks, it is valuable to Ricoh to become more closely familiar with our customer's needs," Ivy added.
 "We believe this is the first instance of a Japanese-owned office equipment manufacturer in the U.S. acquiring a very successful dealer in its headquarters territory," Mr. Ivy noted.
 AOE offices are in four New Jersey and one New York location: An office in Edison, N.J., serves the counties of Middlesex, South Union, Monmounth, Ocean and Mercer; an office in Paramus, N.J. serves Bergen, Passaic, Hudson counties in New Jersey and Rockland county in New York; an office Whippany, N.J., serves Essex, Morris, North Union, Sussex and Warren counties; and the New York City office serves Manhattan. Its headquarters operation in Fairfield, N.J. handles the company's administration, warehousing, servicing and telemarketing. AOE also owns the American Office Distributing Co. Inc., Funding Services, Inc., and American Office Equipment Co. Inc. -- Manhattan.
 Ricoh Corporation, with headquarters in West Caldwell, N.J., is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd, Tokyo, a $7.6 billion diversified automated office equipment, electronics and photographic equipment company. Ricoh Corporation sells copiers ad facsimile through approximately 600 independent office machine dealers in the U.S.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Connie Tobin of Ricoh Corporation, 201-882-2000; or Robert Wick of Robert Wick Public Relations, 212-727-2500, for Ricoh Corporation/


CO: Ricoh Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: SU: TNM

PS-LR -- NY027 -- 2883 03/04/93 10:15 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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