Olympus completes transfer of Imaging business

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by
Jeremy Gray

posted Monday, January 4, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST

UPDATED: 9:28pm ET

Olympus Corporation has concluded the transfer of its Imaging business to Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (JIP), a move which was first announced back in June. The final transfer on January 1, 2021 was based on the definitive agreement both Olympus and JIP signed on September 30, 2020. With the transfer now concluded, OM Digital Solutions Corporation takes over Olympus’s imaging business.

Per Olympus, with the completed transfer, the heads of sales and marketing and research and development for imaging products will be relocated to the headquarters of OM Digital Solutions Corporation. Production will continue at the existing facility in Vietnam, where Olympus manufactured imaging products since 2008. Existing customers will be supported, as OM Digital Solutions Corporation will provide customer support for the imaging products sold by Olympus.

“OM Digital Solutions Corporation will develop and introduce unique products to create new value while continuing to provide high-quality, highly reliable products, including the Zuiko and OM brands, which are grounded in optics and digital imaging technologies cultivated by Olympus over many years as well as IC recorder that combines advanced digital voice and sound recording technology with comfortable operability,” said Shigemi Sugimoto, Representative Director and President of OM Digital Solutions Corporation and the former Imaging Division Head of Olympus.

Shigemi Sugimoto, pictured in 2018

President and CEO of Olympus Corporation, Yasuo Takeuchi, added, “The Imaging business has been at the heart of Olympus since the launch of our first camera, the Semi-Olympus I in 1936, so I am delighted that it will continue to develop and thrive under OM Digital Solutions Corporation.” Takeuchi continues by saying that Olympus will now concentrate on Medical and Scientific Solutions in its pursuit of becoming a global med-tech company.

OM Digital Solutions Corporation is headquartered in Tokyo, and the new OMDS company will retain the leadership and capabilities of existing Olympus research and development, production, sales and marketing. Its new website can be viewed here although it is not scheduled to go live until January 5 (update: website is now live). The new website outlines how OM Digital Solutions will support existing Olympus imaging customers. As of January 1, 2021, OM Digital Solutions Corporation has a total capital of 37 billion yen, which is nearly $360 million USD. OM Digital Solutions has around 2,000 global employees. OM Digital Solutions is also said to have licensed the familiar Olympus brand name from Olympus Corporation and will continue to use the brand for its products into the foreseeable future.

Looking ahead to 2021, what does the future of OM Digital Solutions Corporation look like? This past July, we talked to Ayataka Kiyomiya, who was then Vice President of Global Marketing Planning for the Olympus Imaging Division. In our interview, when asked about product plans beyond 2020, Kiyomiya said, “We will continue to focus on the high-end market and, in the ILC product lineup, we will strengthen mid to high-end cameras and lenses. We have no plans to reduce the number of models unless there are strategic reasons to change the product line-up.” Kiyomiya continued, “We believe this transfer is the right step to preserve our technologies, our products and services and the Olympus brand legacy. We are very confident that we can continue to offer products to satisfy our customers in the new environment.” To read our full interview, click here.

In the final transfer, OM Digital Solutions Corporation takes over the Olympus Corporation’s Vietnamese production facility in Dong Nai province.

In September, Yasuo Takeuchi shared a similar sentiment, saying, “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our customers for their patronage and support of Olympus products, and for their passion devoted to photography. I have the utmost confidence that this transfer is the correct step forward in sustaining the value of our products and services. At the same time, I am certain that this opportunity is the best choice for our long-time patrons, new customers and photography enthusiasts.”