Ricoh To Purchase Pentax From Hoya
By Greg Tarr On Jul 18 2011 - 4:01am
GOLDEN, COLO. —
Ricoh and Pentax set off some pre-
July 4 fireworks in the digital imaging marketplace when
the companies announced that Ricoh will acquire Hoya
Corp.’s Pentax brand in a move to strengthen its position
in digital-SLR cameras and other consumer imaging
Ricoh, which like Pentax is Japanese
based, said it plans to begin
using the Pentax brand on its own
camera products upon completion
of the deal.
Terms of the agreement were not
disclosed, but it is expected to be
completed Oct. 1. The Nikkei Business
Daily estimated the transaction
at $124 million.
A spokesman for Pentax’ U.S.
sales operations here said the company is prevented
from discussing the deal until it is completed.
Ricoh has long offered point-and-shoot and SLR
cameras but has struggled to get much market share
traction out of the Ricoh brand in the U.S. and other
consumer camera markets around the world.
In recent years, it has placed greater emphasis on its
position in copiers, printers and other office equipment
areas, but now sees the borderline between office and
home fading, bringing new opportunities for new products
Adding the Pentax name is expected to help Ricoh
build its consumer presence while giving it an instant
stepping stone into the growing d-SLR and compact
mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera businesses.
In a statement, Ricoh acknowledged the digital camera
market presents “intensified” competition but still
holds “tremendous potential” for new products.
Ricoh said that it plans to use Pentax to enhance its
digital camera businesses (especially the interchangeable-
lens camera market which is expected to grow),
create value-added businesses for photographs
and expand to other fields.
Ricoh is also looking to bolster its offerings
in video conferencing systems, network appliances,
and home security and surveillance
where Pentax also has key assets.
Hoya said that under the deal, it will retain
use of the Pentax name for its businesses for
digital camera modules, DVD pick-up lenses,
endoscopes, synthetic bone and voice-synthesis
On Oct. 1, 2011, the current Pentax Imaging system
business will be succeeded by a newly established
company, and then Ricoh will acquire 100 percent of
its stock right after the establishment.
Toshiaki Iue, Pentax Imaging Systems Division president,
said no operational changes of the Pentax Imaging
System Business are anticipated for the time being
by making this agreement.
“All employees will be transferred to the new company
accordingly. Also, all current products will continue
to be sold with the Pentax brand name under current
operations,” he said in a letter to Pentax customers.
“Pentax, under the guidance of Ricoh, will continue
with our best effort to grow and evolve our business
and partnerships and deliver quality products
and services designed for a high level of
customer satisfaction,” Iue said.
Hoya bought Pentax in 2007 primarily to
gain access to its medical technology, and
long had been expected by industry observers
to sell off the camera business.
Pentax is the world’s tenth largest digital
camera brand by shipments, with 1.5 percent
of the market, according to research