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Hoya, Pentax Merge

Tokyo — Optical-glass manufacturer Hoya will merge with camera and optics maker Pentax, the companies announced last week.

The estimated $771 million stock-swap deal is expected to be complete on Oct. 1, 2007, and the newly merged company will be renamed Hoya Pentax HD. The firm will focus on life care (such as medical accessories), optics, information technology, eye care and imaging systems, according to a statement released from Pentax’s Japanese headquarters.

Citing increased pressure from Asian and home electronics manufacturers, Hoya Pentax’s newly formed imaging division “will differentiate its offerings by specializing in high-value added products with unique technology and will focus on areas where it has a competitive edge. This area will be positioned as a foundation for development of new optical-related equipment and is expected to diversify into the life care and security business areas” the companies said in a statement.

There was no immediate word on what impact, if any, would be felt on Pentax’s U.S. camera business.

The merger was described as among the biggest in the precision equipment industry since the tie up of Konica and Minolta, which resulted in both firms pulling out of the U.S. camera business.