Ricoh Plans To Expand Camera Business, Buys Pentax Brand From Hoya

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Camera brand Pentax will soon have a new owner: Tokyo-based Hoya group, which purchased the brand in 2007, is ready to sell [notice of sale as an English PDF] it to Ricoh in October this year. According to Japanese business daily The Nikkei, the office equipment maker plans to pay an estimated US$124 million for Pentax.

Through the acquisition, Ricoh plans to bolster its relatively small camera business (the company is estimated to have sold less than half a million cameras last year). Another goal is to use Pentax’ single-lens reflex cameras to enter developing countries.

Hoya itself sold 1.6 million cameras last year, but under the deal, all plants, employees and the Pentax name will become part of Ricoh in three months.

The camera you see above is the so-called Q that Hoya/Pentax introduced a few days ago.