Hoya announces sale of Pentax

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Hoya Corp has announced today the transfer of shares in Pentax Imaging systems to Ricoh. Although better known for their office equipment, Ricoh are well respected for their high-end digital compact cameras such as the GR Digital series and the unique GXR, equipped with interchangeable lens/sensor units. Ricoh stopped manufacturing SLRs in the early 80's but the company will continue to market the Pentax brand. Hoya, the largest optical glass maker in Japan, merged with Pentax Imaging on 31 March, 2008, but fears about poor-profitability prompting a resale of the company have been voiced ever since.

Jonathan Martin, General Manager, Pentax Imaging Systems UK said: “Ricoh is globally renowned within the digital camera industry, having successfully brought a range of products to market since its inception in 1939.
 
“We are extremely pleased with today’s announcement and see this as the natural next step in the evolution and continued development of the Pentax brand in the UK and abroad. With Ricoh’s involvement we can continue to grow the Pentax business in the UK and ensure we maintain our commitment to provide our customers with innovative, cutting edge, high quality products to suit all camera users.”

Press release:

Notice of Sale of the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business

HOYA Corporation (“HOYA”) and Ricoh Company, Ltd. (“Ricoh”) hereby announce that pursuant to decisions by the President and CEO of HOYA and Representative Director of Ricoh, respectively, HOYA and Ricoh have executed an agreement as of today to transfer HOYA’s PENTAX Imaging Systems Business (the business of developing, manufacturing and selling optical instruments such as digital cameras and replacement lenses, digital camera accessories, security camera-related products, and binoculars) (the “PENTAX Imaging Systems Business”) to Ricoh.    

HOYA will effectuate this transfer by incorporating a new corporation (“NewCo”), cause NewCo to succeed the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business by way of a corporate split (kyushu bunkatsu) (the “Corporate Split”), and transfer all shares of NewCo to Ricoh (such split and transfer shall be referred to as the “Split/Transfer”) as of October 1, 2011 (Estimated).

Prior to the Split/Transfer, HOYA intends to transfer its interests in PENTAX VN CO., Ltd., an overseas subsidiary of HOYA in relation to the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business, to NewCo.

Please note, that since the Corporate Split is a simplified corporate split (kan-i kyushu bunkatsu), disclosure items/content have been partially abbreviated.

Further, HOYA will continue to develop its businesses assigned from PENTAX Corporation which was merged (kyushu gappei) into HOYA on March 31, 2008 other than the PENTAX Imaging Systems Business, such as its businesses regarding digital camera modules, DVD pickup lenses, endoscopes, artificial bones, and voice synthesis.

The full text of the press release can be found here.

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