Olympus is getting out of the camera business

Olympus is getting out of the camera business

The Japanese imaging company, which makes most of its money from medical equipment, announced on Wednesday it will sell its camera business to Japan Industrial Partners, the company that acquired VAIO from Sony in 2014.
Sale means the end of Olympus’ business with consumer cameras this began in 1936 when he introduced the Zuiko brand camera. He sold his first light SLR camera under the “OM” brand in 1972, and his compact Infinity Stylus camera for playback and shooting in 1991.

Olympus launched its first digital camera in 1996, helping – along with competitors such as Kodak and Fujifilm – to revolutionize the digital camera with its signature Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system.

But smartphones have devastated the digital camera business, and Olympus’ consumer camera division has seen operating losses in each of the past three years – even after restructuring attempts.

Olympus has long been rumored to be interested in selling its camera business, which is only a small part of the company’s total stake. However, CEO Yasuo Takeuchi denied reports of the sale of the camera business until November 2019.

The deal with JIP is expected to close in September. The financial data for the deal have not been announced yet.

Citing JIP’s “strong achievements in support of strategic decisions”, the memorandum states that the new owners will continue to develop existing Olympus camera technologies for new products. The company did not say whether it would keep the Olympus brand.

Olympus has been shaken by a series of disputes, including a large-scale corporate corruption scandal in 2011, which revealed more than $ 1.5 billion in investment losses and alleged covert payments to organized crime unions in the Yakuza.

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