UPDATE 2-Japan's Hoya: to sell Pentax camera business to Ricoh

Fri Jul 1, 2011 2:32am EDT

* Ricoh to pay about 10 bln yen -Nikkei

* Ricoh wants access to Pentax SLR technology -Nikkei

* Hoya shares leap on the news, Ricoh falls (Adds detail)

By Mariko Katsumura and Kentaro Hamada

TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) - Japanese optical glass-maker Hoya said on Friday it would sell its Pentax camera business to copier and printer maker Ricoh , in a deal the Nikkei business daily said was worth about 10 billion yen ($124.2 million).

Battling falling prices for its compact cameras, Ricoh hopes to establish a presence in the profitable upmarket single-lens reflex camera segment, the Nikkei business daily said.

The two companies will hold a news conference about the transaction at 0730 GMT.

The deal will go through in October, Hoya said in a filing to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Shares in Hoya ended up 4 percent at 1,845 yen, after climbing as high as 6 percent to 1,888 yen on the news, while Ricoh was down 0.2 percent, in a broader market climb of 0.5 percent .

Hoya, which bought Pentax in 2007 mainly to gain access to its medical technology, had been widely expected to sell off the camera business.

Pentax is the world's tenth largest digital camera brand by shipments, with just 1.5 percent of the market, according to research firm IDC.

Sales of Pentax cameras dropped just over 13 percent in the year ended March 2011, amid fierce price competition in the compact camera market.

Copier and printer-maker Ricoh , which aims to shed nearly 10 percent of its workforce to improve profits, also has a digital camera business, but sales are too small to feature in global data. ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen) (Additional reporting by Emi Emoto; Writing by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.