Pentax board seen resigning after Hoya takeover

Fri May 25, 2007 1:47am EDT

TOKYO May 25 (Reuters) - Pentax Corp's 7750.T board plans to resign after rival Hoya Corp (7741.T) takes the company over, taking responsibility for the drawn-out confusion surrounding the merger, people familiar with situation said on Friday.

Earlier this month, high-tech glass maker Hoya won consent from Pentax, a camera and medical equipment manufacturer, to make a tender offer but that came only after a month-long spat.

The resignation of all board members should smooth the takeover process for cash-rich Hoya, which is keen to take advantage of new opportunities in markets that Pentax has a strong footing in such as advanced cameras and medical tools.

The sources said Pentax's new president is likely to be Nobuaki Tanishima, an executive in Pentax's corporate planning department. The new Pentax board will be comprised of five members, two from Pentax, two from Hoya and one from outside both companies.

Hoya's tender offer bid, first reported in April, triggered a split on Pentax's board. The board eventually dumped company president Fumio Urano, who had led the talks with Hoya, and appointed Takashi Watanuki who had opposed a merger.

The decision to eventually accept Hoya's offer came after 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.

((Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo, editing by Malcolm Whittaker; Reuters messaging: edwina.gibbs.reuters.com@reuters.net; email edwina.gibbs.@reuters.com; +81 3 3432-8720)) Keywords: PENTAX HOYA/

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