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Hoya sells off Pentax digital camera business

The company is selling Pentax to Ricoh in a deal reportedly worth $124 million. The deal is expected to close in October.

Japanese company Hoya has agreed to sell its Pentax digital camera business to Ricoh, the companies announced today.

According to Japanese publication Nikkei Business Daily, Ricoh will pay Hoya 10 billion yen ($124 million) to acquire its Pentax operation.

Pentax is widely considered an also-ran in the digital camera business. The company's worldwide market share last year, according to IDC, stood at just 1.5 percent. For the most part, Pentax's digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras lack advanced features found in the leading options from Nikon and Canon. However, Pentax cameras are typically quite affordable compared to their competitors.

In order to complete the sale, Hoya, which merged with Pentax in 2008 in a deal valued at $770 million, plans to start a new corporation, called NewCo, that will take on the Pentax Imaging Business. Once complete, the company will transfer its ownership in NewCo to Ricoh.

Ricoh's decision to acquire Hoya is a rather surprising move on the company's part, since it's best known for its line of copiers and other office equipment. However, the company has offered cameras in the past, and delivered its first digital camera to the market in 1995.

Hoya and Ricoh hope to complete their deal in October.

Further reading: CNET's reviews on Pentax digital cameras