Olympus Corporation has announced that it is quitting the camera business and selling it to Japan Industrial Partners. The company has revealed that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with JIP to sell its camera business.
Under the MoU, Olympus Imaging business will be carveouts to a new company known as NewCo and subsequently transfer its shares to a fund managed, operated or otherwise handled by JIP. The company has revealed that the parties are aiming to sign a legal binding definitive agreement by September 30, 2020. Furthermore, Olympus and JIP will strive to close the transaction by December 31, 2020.
The company has taken this move as its imaging business has recorded operating losses for 3 consecutive fiscal years up to the term ended in March 2020. The company, which started its camera business in 1936, says that it has implemented different measures to cope with the ‘extremely severe digital camera market’. The company tried to improve the cost structure by restructuring the manufacturing bases and focusing on high-value-added interchangeable lenses, aiming to rectify the earning structure to those that may continue generating profit even as sales dwindle. However, all these efforts failed.
“Under such circumstances, Olympus considers that, by carving-out the Imaging business and by operating the business with JIP, the Imaging business’s corporate structure may become more compact, efficient and agile and it is the most appropriate way to realize its self-sustainable and continuous growth and to bring values to the users of our products as well as our employees working in the Imaging business,” the company said in a statement.