Noritsu, the company that introduced the first retail minilab in the 1970s, has sold its minilab business. The parent company, Noritsu Koki, has announced its shares in NK Works, the imaging division, will be transferred to a new company named LifeStyle Japan Limited Partnership (LSJ), a joint venture formed by venture capitalist, Team Cool Japan, and Takisada Japan, (which we believe is in the fashion and textile industries).
Noritsu Koki the pioneer of the minilab in the 1970s, has a history in film and print processing stretching back to the 1950s. In a letter to customers Motohiro Akai, CEO of
Noritsu America Corporation, stated that Michio Fujimoto, president of NKW, will continue at the helm and ‘our new shareholders are dedicated to NKW’s continued success and are excited to put our united resources to work.’
The statement continued: ‘LSJ is continually interested in high-end technology and creating a global network. As such, imaging and photo prints make for a suitable addition. LSJ understands Noritsu’s activities and strategies in the Imaging Business and respects NKW’s management decisions with long-term perspective.’
Noritsu has been moving outside the photographic industry for new revenue streams for some time. It established new companies ‘within three distinct industries – medical, agricultural, and environmental. R&D, investments, and other resources were refocused towards these new endeavours.’
What is LifeStyle Japan?
PhotoCounter could find no internet references to LifeStyle Japan, so it must be a new business indeed. However, Bloomberg gave the following summary of Team Cool Japan: Team Cool Japan Co., Ltd. is a venture capital and private equity firm. It specializes in start-up and incubation investments for venture capital business; buyout, and restructuring for private equity investments. The firm seeks to invest in lifestyle related companies. It prefers to be the lead investor of its portfolio companies. Team Cool Japan Co., Ltd. was established in 2012 and is based in Tokyo, Japan
And, Takisada-Osaka Co, Ltd, which we believe (‘citation needed’) is the Takisada Japan referred to: Takisada-Osaka Co Ltd distributes textiles and apparel products for the fashion industry. It offers fabrics for women’s and men’s clothing; apparel and accessories for women; night clothes, bedding, and interior accessories; and fibro-materials. It serves apparel companies, wholesalers, and retailers in Japan. The company was founded in 1864 and is based in Osaka, Japan with offices in Tokyo, Japan; and Shanghai, China