July 6, 2011: Ricoh has announced it will buy the Pentax digital camera brand from Hoya Corporation, effective October 1.
While the Ricoh move is part of a push to expand its consumer products business, Hoya said it intends to focus its management resources on medical equipment and would continue to use the Pentax brand for products such as endoscopes.
Hoya acquired Pentax in 2008. The companies said Ricoh would use the Pentax brand name for its digital camera products, while Hoya would continue to use the Pentax brand for products such as endoscopes.
The Nikkei Business Daily reported that the deal was worth an estimated Y10 billion ($A114.8 million). Under the agreement, Hoya will set up a new company to transfer its Pentax Imaging Systems Business which covers development, manufacturing and sales of optical instruments such as digital cameras, lenses and security camera-related products.
Hoya will then transfer all shares of the new company to Ricoh, which plans to operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary. Hoya acquired Pentax in 2008.
Ricoh is considering integrating its own camera business into the subsidiary, Ricoh president Shiro Kondo told a press conference in Tokyo.
In a statement, Ricoh said the acquisition was partly driven by its belief that ‘the borderline between office and home will fade and this will be reflected in a major change in products and services.’ Ricoh intends to enhance its compact and interchangeable-unit camera line-up and gain a presence in the market for single-lens reflex and mirrorless cameras.
Neither Tasco Sales, Ricoh’s local distributor, nor CR Kennedy, which has represented Pentax for decades, were in a position to provide any details of local implications.