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Olympus Exits the Camera Business

Olympus is selling off its imaging business, according to its press release.

Olympus Corporation ("Olympus") and Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. ("JIP") hereby announce that, today, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding to carveout Olympus’s Imaging business to a new company (“NewCo”) and subsequently transfer its shares to a fund managed, operated or otherwise handled by JIP (the "Transaction").

After the due diligence and further discussions and negotiations, the parties are aiming to sign a legally- binding definitive agreement for the Transaction (the "Definitive Agreement") by September 30, 2020.

Reader Roy P writes:

I guess the MFT format just got killed by ASP-C:

https://petapixel.com/2020/06/24/olympus-exits-the-camera-business

I don’t know if you know the story about Yoshihisa Maitani, the guy who started Olympus. He was a short man with small hands, and he wanted to create an SLR that was really compact and comfortably fit his hands. All Olympus SLR cameras were really tiny, the smallest you could make an SLR camera.

Olympus E-M1X

The challenge today is how to find a competitive position in the industry. Sony and Canon both have the scale, own proprietary sensor technologies, have extensive chip design expertise in house, and can draw out their own technology roadmaps that have no critical dependencies on anyone in their supply chain.

Panasonic has very deep pockets and owns a good slice of consumer videography. It remains to be seen how far they take the Panasonic S1R / S1 line. So far, they haven’t exactly been super aggressive, but they have the staying power.

Fujifilm has the money, a strong share of the APS-C market and increasing share of the large format market, and the staying power.

Phase One has its own unique niche positioning that no one else will want to step into, and has the staying power

You have to wonder how Pentax is going to survive. It’s going to be a struggle for Nikon and Hasselblad also.

DIGLLOYD: I’d rather see Olympus around, this is a shame, but I’ve long felt that Micro Four Thirds was doomed in the era of sub-$1000 full-frame cameras with bodies smaller then MFT. There is still a place for MFT of course, but enough to keep it viable.? Dubious. But the scandals and mis-management at Olympus were too much of a load to carry.

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