Optical-Glass Firm Buys Camera Maker Pentax

Date: 25 December 2006

Hoya Corp., Japan's largest optical glass maker, agreed to buy camera maker Pentax Corp. for 90.6 billion yen ($765 million) to add endoscopes and surgical scissors.

Hoya will pay 0.158 of stock, or 709.42 yen, for each Pentax share, the companies said yesterday. The offer is 10.5 percent higher than yesterday's closing stock price.

Medical equipment sales at Pentax grew 23 percent in the year that ended March 31 as the company cut its reliance on single-lens reflex cameras because of increased digital competition from Canon Inc. and Sony Corp.

Pentax also announced yesterday a venture with Italy's Movi SpA to increase sales of endoscopes and binoculars in Europe.

"This is a positive surprise," said Hisashi Moriyama, an analyst at JPMorgan Securities Japan. "Hoya will be able to obtain in a friendly manner a major player in the increasingly exclusive and growing" SLR camera and endoscope markets.

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