- 14 Mar 2002
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Sad, sad, sad: after 84 years of producing cameras and lenses, Olympus Corporation will sell its camera division by the end of the year. Like many other camera manufacturers, Olympus struggled as more and more consumers resort to smartphones to capture pictures.
Olympus has announced it's agreed in principle to divest itself of its imaging business by transferring it to a new company that will continue to run it. The company that will run the new business is Japan Industrial Partners, and Olympus hopes that the final agreement will be made in September and the deal closed by the end of the calendar year. In a statement, Olympus says the new company will carry on making and selling camera equipment and suggests it will maintain R&D and manufacturing facilities around the world. Crucially, the new company will also provide support to existing Olympus camera owners. After three years of losses Olympus says it needs a more ‘compact, efficient and agile’ corporate structure and claims having a new company run the camera business is the only way to make it survive and grow. The company blames the rise in smartphones as a continuing factor in the decline of the camera market and says it has done what it can to reduce costs. However, further cost-cutting is to come as the imaging business is prepared for its transfer so that it can be taken on in a more ‘profitable and sustainable’ condition.
The camera business is to be moved to an new company run by Japan Industrial Partners, which will continue to run and grow the brand, according to a statement from Olympus Corporation
It's the end of an era: Japan's Olympus said Wednesday it is selling its struggling camera division to focus on medical equipment -- now the major portion of the storied firm's business. Olympus has been in the camera business since 1936, when it launched a product using the Zuiko lens,…