* Ricoh to pay about 10 bln yen -Nikkei
* Ricoh wants access to Pentax SLR technology -Nikkei
* Hoya shares leap on the news, Ricoh falls
By Mariko Katsumura and Kentaro Hamada
TOKYO, July 1 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
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
Hoya, which bought Pentax in 2007 mainly to gain access to
its medical technology, had been widely expected to sell off the
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
($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)
(Additional reporting by Emi Emoto; Writing by Isabel Reynolds;
Editing by Edwina Gibbs)