Shares of Vancouver’s PNI Digital Media (TSX:PN) are up nearly 32% today after the company announced it would sell itself to Staples for $1.70 a share, or $73.9-million.
The company says it expects to continue to operate independently under the Staples brand if the transaction is approved by shareholders at a special meeting on or about July 8th.
Damien Leigh, Senior Vice President, Staples Business Services explained the company’s interest in PNI.
“PNI’s technology gives customers easy access to the best personalized products and related services.” he said . “As a part of Staples, we expect PNI to continue to innovate on an open platform and share their innovations with both their current customers and with Staples’ Business Services division.”
PNI took flight in the latter half of 2013 on the back of improving numbers. The company, which offers consumers an array of ways to personalize photography that is increasingly being taken with mobile devices, has announced deals with household names like Walgreens and Office Depot.
In an interview with Cantech Letter on April 22nd, CEO Kyle Hall commented on a recent report that suggested 55% of smartphone photographers have experience with ordering photo output products, such as photo prints, photo books, calendars and cards. Hall says we are still in the early stages of this phenomenon.
“We do believe this is a long-term trend. Having the functionality to quickly and easily print a picture that is stored on your phone is relatively new, and I see it taking sometime for consumers to change their habits,” he said. “Partnerships like the one we have with Samsung, where our print functionality will be embedded directly on the phone and easily sent for printing from within the gallery, makes adoption even easier and hopefully will encourage more users to order products this way.”
Founded in Massachusetts in 1986, Staples, Inc. has more than 2000 stores in 26 countries. The company founded a Canadian subsidiary in 1991 under the name The Business Depot, but later changed the name to Staples.