Apr 24, 2006

Mamiya to sell camera business

Source: Imaging Resource
Written by Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource

A press release posted on the Japanese website of Mamiya-OP Co. Ltd. today announces that it is to sell its optical instruments business to another company.

Mamiya-OP was formed in October 1992, after the merger of Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. with Olympic Co. Ltd., a company that manufactured both electronic equipment and fishing tackle. The newly formed company withdrew from the fishing tackle business in December 2000, and currently sells optical equipment including both film and digital cameras in medium format, as well as lenses, tripods, golf equipment, and assorted electronics.

Mamiya notes that the advent of first compact digital cameras, and later high end DSLRs, both badly hurt its sales of medium format cameras. In an attempt to recover, it planned the twenty two megapixel Mamiya ZD SLR, as well as a related digital back for its medium format film cameras. Announced in September 2004, the Mamiya ZD finally reached the market in December 2005. The expense of bringing that camera to market has proven too much to bear, though, with four consecutive quarters of tough financial results.

Given the difficult market for a medium format camera manufacturer, the Board of Directors today approved a contract to sell the entirity of the optical instruments business section to Cosmos Scientific Systems Inc. The plan will be put before shareholders at a general meeting scheduled for June 29th, 2006 – and if approval is gained, the transaction will be concluded on September 1st 2006.

As part of the transaction, Cosmos will take over the property and fixed assets of Mamiya’s optical unit, as well as assuming rights to related contracts, patents and trademarks, and certain debts. Mamiya notes that a “considerable number” of their optical unit employees will also move to Cosmos, and the company will also assume responsibility for after-sales service of Mamiya’s cameras.

Note: This news item is based on a press release translated from Japanese, and as such may contain errors in translation.

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