Hoya to launch tender bid for Pentax after June 1

TOKYO Wed May 16, 2007 8:42pm EDT

A man tries out a Pentax digital camera displayed at a shop in Tokyo May 11, 2007. Japanese high-tech glass maker Hoya Corp. plans to launch a friendly tender offer bid to take control of Pentax Corp. after June 1, people involved with the deal told Reuters late on Wednesday. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A man tries out a Pentax digital camera displayed at a shop in Tokyo May 11, 2007. Japanese high-tech glass maker Hoya Corp. plans to launch a friendly tender offer bid to take control of Pentax Corp. after June 1, people involved with the deal told Reuters late on Wednesday.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese high-tech glass maker Hoya Corp. (7741.T) plans to launch a friendly tender offer bid to take control of Pentax Corp. 7750.T after June 1, people involved with the deal told Reuters late on Wednesday.

The Pentax board is prepared to accept Hoya's offer of 770 yen a share for the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, but under some conditions such as keeping Pentax as a subsidiary and allowing most of its directors to stay on as board members.

Tokyo-based Pentax took a month to consider Hoya's offer, which triggered a split within its board. Last month it dumped president Fumio Urano, who had led the talks with Hoya, and appointed Takashi Watanuki, who had opposed a merger.

The decision by the new management comes amid mounting pressure from top Pentax shareholder Sparx Asset Management 8739.Q, a Tokyo-based investment fund, to accept Hoya's sweetened tender offer, or come up with an alternative plan that could yield better returns.

Hoya shares were up 3.44 percent at 3,920 yen in early trade. Pentax was down 0.64 percent at 772 yen.

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