Seongnam-based Korean Internet giant Naver is acquiring the Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) in Grenoble, France. The French Works Council’s consultation on this project has now been completed and the agreement is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to fulfillment of certain customary conditions.

Founded in 1993, the Xerox Research Centre Europe is located outside Grenoble. The centre has focused its research in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing and ethnography.

In a statement, Steve Hoover, Xerox’s chief technology officer, said “The majority of research taking place at XRCE was supporting Xerox’s business process outsourcing unit, now an independent company and no longer aligns with Xerox strategy. This transaction will allow us to better optimize our R&D investment, focusing in areas more aligned to our business.”

Once the sale becomes final, all 80 plus researchers and administrative staff are expected to become part of Naver. Xerox will maintain ownership of intellectual property and arrange licensing agreements with Naver.

[Image courtesy: Xerox]