Saturday, May 26, 2007

Latest Pentax and Hoya Plan Possibly Accepted For Merging

(Updated May 26th, 1:45pm EST with additional Bloomberg info and Japan Times info at bottom) It looks like the deal is going forward and a decision and announcement will be made at the end of the month or in June. Keu Torigue, the head of Pentax's fabled Camera Division, and Nobuaki Tanishima are rumoured to be Pentax's nomination to the board of directors. However, Pentax made a brief statement to Bloomberg News that Tanishima has not been named an interim CEO to squash rumors that seem to be coming from one of the leading shareholders, Sparx, to Japanese papers. "No decision has been made at this point," says Pentax. It's also been rumored that the current Pentax board of directors will step down once the merger is complete, but Pentax has not made any announcement of such. Keu Torigue is one of the key players in Pentax's success in recent years, as his leadership since 2005 oversaw the release of the K100D and K10D cameras. News with details is scant at best right now and Pentax says they will announce information when decisions have been made.

In the meanwhile, market analysts are quick to express their opinions on the matter until Pentax finally makes its statements. The Japan Times spoke with Yosuke Katsura, from Mizuho Securities Co., about his take on the upcoming merger. In an oddly derogatory titled column titled "SLR pioneer missed jump to digital," Katsura makes the following assumptions about Pentax...

From Japan Times: "'Pentax employees are more like artisans than cost-conscious business people (...) They believe good products should naturally sell well, and care less about such things as cost-benefit performance," Katsura said.

"Pentax Director Shinichiro Mitsuhashi said the camera maker's management style is like that in "a back-street factory," whereas Hoya takes a rational approach and puts profit above all else. "It's not that easy to integrate," Mitsuhashi reportedly said at a news conference May 11."

Links: News at Bloomberg.net, May26th news update, Japan Times: SLR pioneer missed jump to digital

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