Xerox purchases Tampa-based Zeno
TAMPA - Zeno Office Solutions, a Tampa company that grew into a major office equipment supplier statewide, has been acquired by Xerox for an undisclosed sum. Zeno co-owner Rick Lott said his company can grow more and more quickly with the backing of Xerox, an iconic tech company with $22 billion in annual revenue. To be sure, the sale means yet another Tampa-based company will fall into out-of-state control, but Lott said Xerox has a hands-off policy toward many of its acquisitions. So he expects little change in operations. Zeno will keep its name and its more than 300 employees in Florida. “Officially, we are Zeno Office Solutions, a Xerox company,” Lott said.Lott is well known in the Tampa Bay area as a former car dealership owner and Plant City commissioner. However, he has spent much of his career in the office equipment industry. He and business partner Tom Frederick, both former executives at the once-giant office equipment company Danka Business Systems, formed Zeno in 1996. Among other services, it sells and maintains copiers, printers and mailroom equipment, offers document storage and provides employees for corporate mailrooms and copy centers. Lott and Frederick built the company during the past 17 years through internal growth and acquisitions, purchasing more than a dozen companies. Today they run 11 Zeno facilities across Florida. Lott declined to reveal revenue or the sale price, referring questions about finances to Xerox, which also declined to give a sale price. The last available revenue figure was $40 million in 2005. He and Frederick will stay with Zeno as long as Xerox wants to keep them, Lott said. “We were looking at the best way to grow our company, and teaming up with Xerox was the best way to grow,” he said.