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Hoya sells Pentax imaging business to Ricoh

15 Jul 2011

Unit will form key part of Ricoh's strategy to establish a consumer optics business.

Three years after buying Pentax, the Japanese optical giant Hoya has signed a deal to sell off a large chunk of the unit's Imaging Systems Business to Ricoh.

According to a joint statement by Hoya and Ricoh the agreement was formally made on July 1, with the transfer of ownership expected to occur on October 1 this year. That statement also suggests a net asset value of the division set to be split from Hoya of around ¥10.7 billion (about $135 million).

Although Ricoh’s core business is in office-based products, with the company perhaps best known in the West for its printers and photocopier machines, it does also sell a range of high-end digital cameras. Ricoh now wants to establish a more consumer-facing business, starting with a stronger line-up of cameras.

The Pentax products that it will acquire through the Hoya transaction include replacement lenses and binoculars as well as digital cameras, with the lightweight interchangeable lenses developed by Pentax seen as both a strong growth opportunity and a pathway to future innovations. While Hoya is retaining certain non-consumer lines, such as DVD pick-up lenses and endoscopes, Ricoh says that it aims to expand into the image archiving and security markets.

The financial transaction will be initiated when Hoya forms a new subsidiary company, before assigning all shares in the company, as well as its various assets and liabilities, to Ricoh.

Ricoh says that, on completion of the acquisition, it will begin to use the Pentax brand name for some of its digital camera products, while Hoya will retain the Pentax brand for endoscopes and other products.

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