Olympus has announced that it is selling its camera division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). It is the same company that acquired Sony’s Vaio computer division, and now wants to absorb popular Olympus brands such as Zuiko and OM-D. Olympus began its journey in 1936 with the manufacture and sale of cameras using Zuiko lenses. Since then, the company introduced innovative products such as the Olympus Pen and even shifted its strategy to manufacturing high-value interchangeable lenses soon after, affecting smartphone sales.
Olympus has not announced the financial details of the deal, but the company has published a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that confirms the final sale to JIP. A definitive agreement is expected to be signed on 30 September this year. One of the reasons why Olympus sold its imaging business was that the fiscal year ended in March 2020 reported operating losses for three consecutive years. The company says it improved cost structure, re-strategized products based on demand, and restructured manufacturing bases by improving ‘trying to face the very serious digital camera market’, but the imaging business continued to suffer losses.