Ricoh Co. announced that it will buy the Pentax-brand digital camera business of HOYA Corp.in October.
Ricoh will take full control of the optical division of HOYA including its manufacturing subsidiary in Vietnam, along with the employees. While expanding the camera business, it will also transfer its own camera business to the new company. This new set-up is expected to handle digital cameras, interchangeable lenses, security cameras and other consumer optical products like binoculars. HOYA will keep medical and other businesses under the Pentax brand including camera modules and DVD pick-up lenses. As per reports from informed sources, Ricoh is expected to buy the business for around 10 billion yen (US$125 million).
In May this year, Ricoh had decided to cut 10,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, over a span of three years. Sales of its mainstay office equipment have slowed down, thus pushing the company to diversify its operations by enhancing its consumer products lineup. Ricoh intends to hike its camera business operations by leveraging Pentax’s D-SLR technologies and integrating the sales channels that Pentax has built up in the US, Europe and elsewhere with its own. Ricoh aims to hit 100 billion yen (US$1.25 billion) in annual sales with digital cameras in three years, which is almost double the sales achieved by Ricoh and Pentax at present.