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News:

September 30, 2020

Olympus agrees on transfer of its imaging business to JIP

Olympus agrees on transfer of its imaging business to JIP The previously announced sale of Olympus' imaging business is sealed on schedule: Olympus Corporation and Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (JIP) have agreed that Olympus will separate the business a newly founded wholly owned subsidiary. On January 1, 2021, OJ Holdings, Ltd., a special purpose company established by JIP, will take over 95 percent of the new company’s shares. According to a press release, the agreement applies to Olympus' global imaging business, including all R&D and production sites, as well as the Zuiko and OM brands. The new company may also continue to use the Olympus brand for the foreseeable future, Olympus said answering a request of INTERNATIONAL CONTACT. There were no plan that the use of the Olympus brand is to be discontinued immediately after the transfer is completed, the company added.


Sales, marketing, R&D and product design cameras and lenses will be based at the headquarters of the new OM Digital Solutions Corporation in Hachioji, Tokyo, while production will continue to take place in the factory in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. In addition to the OM-D and PEN cameras and lenses, the new company will also manufacture and market IC recorders and other audio products as well as binoculars. It will also provide service and support for all imaging products manufactured and sold by Olympus. As before, activities in the important European market will be controlled from Hamburg, Germany.

Over the 84 year history as a camera and lens manufacturer, Olympus has focused primarily on small, lightweight cameras that offer high image quality, including the well-known OM and PEN models. After the global camera market has shrunk rapidly due to the development of smartphones, Olympus' imaging business recorded operating losses in three consecutive fiscal years up to March 2020, despite various measures to enhance efficiency, according to a press release. The separation of the Olympus Imaging business and the transfer to JIP will make it possible to operate more efficiently and to achieve self-sustaining and continuous growth in the future, Olympus said. With a loyal following and long history of innovative products, the New Imaging Company would be committed to building on Olympus’ accumulated expertise and to continue providing customers with innovative, high quality cameras under the new business structure, the company added.

”I have the utmost confidence that this transfer is the correct step forward in sustaining the value of our products and services”, said Yasuo Takeuchi, President and CEO of Olympus Corporation. "At the same time, I am certain that this opportunity is the best choice for our long-time patrons, new customers and photography enthusiasts. Under the new company, the development, manufacturing, sales and service functions will continue tight collaboration to introduce new products that will satisfy customers.”

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