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Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Hoya succeeds in friendly takeover bid for Pentax

AFP , TOKYO

Japanese optical glass manufacturer Hoya Corp said yesterday it had succeeded in a friendly takeover bid for Pentax Corp that values the camera icon at about ¥104 billion (US$877 million).

Hoya said it had secured a 90.58 percent stake in Pentax after a long on-off takeover saga beset by shareholder resistance and a boardroom rift at Pentax.

It will pay about ¥94.5 billion in cash for the stake in Pentax, a pioneer of single-lens reflex cameras.

The two companies, which both also produce medical imaging devices, first agreed in December to merge through a share swap.

They scrapped that plan when Pentax shareholders complained they were getting a bad deal.

A majority of Pentax's board members also reportedly opposed the initial plan, leading to the resignation of its president Fumio Urano.

Hoya, which had offered ¥770 per Pentax share, said it aimed to turn the camera maker into a wholly owned subsidiary "in order to create synergies and accelerate business growth for the future."

Japan's camera industry has been transforming itself in the face of falling prices and stiff competition, with a number of leading makers giving up on traditional film cameras in favor of digital models.

In 2003, Konica and Minolta merged to form Konica Minolta Holdings Inc, which became Japan's fourth-largest camera and office equipment maker.

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