From OM Digital Solutions Americas, Inc.:
Launch of OM Digital Solutions Corporation
Tokyo, Japan, January 5, 2021 – We are pleased to announce that OM Digital Solutions Corporation commenced operations on January 1, 2021. OM Digital Solutions Corporation will continue to provide consumer products that have previously been manufactured and sold by Olympus.
Shigemi Sugimoto, the former Imaging Head for Olympus, has been appointed Representative Director and President of OM Digital Solutions Corporation. Under a new organizational structure, with Management, Research and Development, Manufacturing, and Sales departments operating as one, we will endeavor to further improve our services and enhance our product lineup for all those who love our brands, including OM-D, PEN, and Zuiko.
Message from Shigemi Sugimoto
“As of January 1, 2021, we advanced as OM Digital Solutions Corporation. In recent years, digitalization has accelerated in response to changes in the marketplace and technological advancements, revolutionizing the industry. A sense of value is critical to the consumer, and we believe that which is ultimately being sought right now is a more satisfying, fulfilling life.
During our business as the Imaging Division of Olympus, we contributed to society by developing and marketing products such as cameras, audio recorders, and binoculars. With the camera business, we applied innovative philosophies when developing our products. In the film era, we succeeded with the development of the unprecedented compact, lightweight design of the OM series of 35mm SLR cameras. We have inherited this passion and development philosophy in the digital age, leading to the Micro Four Thirds standard, and the progression to the mirrorless OM-D series. In addition, we developed precision optics and superior camera equipment utilizing groundbreaking technologies, including lens groups with high optical performance, world-class image stabilization, and the High-Res Shot function, delivering high-resolution imaging to photographers everywhere.
It is our manufacturing capabilities that have supported this business. This was accomplished through forward-looking insight, a challenging spirit, and close relationships with our manufacturing operations. As OM Digital Solutions Corporation, we will continue to launch innovative products in existing business areas such as cameras, audio recorders, and binoculars, while combining our inherited manufacturing capabilities with state-of-the-art digital technologies, to provide new solutions that stretch beyond the boundaries of existing products on the market.
The launch of this new company brings together a more focused and flexible organizational structure. Moving forward, this will allow the freedom to explore new business opportunities, enabling us to contribute to society with more passion than ever.”
Background of New Company Name
There are two key values behind the company name, "OM Digital Solutions”. "OM" is legendary, a piece of history that articulates our identity. In the 1970s, the Olympus OM System was developed to overcome the three obstacles that had faced SLR cameras at the time: their large size, their heavy weight, and the loud sound and shock caused by shutter operation. Olympus reduced the shutter shock and made the cameras more compact and lightweight, all while maintaining the highest level of performance. Olympus pursued drastic size and weight reductions to allow the camera to fit comfortably in one's hand and was able to accomplish this thanks to the uncompromising attitude towards design and manufacturing.
The letters “OM” in the company name, embody the position of always challenging difficult situations, and developing new products and technologies. In the digital era, “OM” has been reborn as “OM-D”, and it is leading our imaging brand as the prominent mirrorless camera line.
"Digital Solutions" incorporates our corporate direction and determination towards the future of challenging the digital domain; both the carefully cultivated imaging-related business and expanding beyond boundaries. We take pride in manufacturing products that meet and exceed market demands.
OM Digital Solutions Corporation is a state-of-the-art business that challenges preconceived notions and provides solutions for professionals and consumers, allowing them to lead fuller, richer lives.
Business Launch Date: January 1, 2021
Company Name: OM Digital Solutions Corporation
49-3 Takakura-machi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0033, Japan
Daiwa Sasazuka Tower, 1-50-1 Sasazuka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0073, Japan
Shin-Osaka Brick Bldg., 1-6-1 Miyahara, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 532-0003, Japan
Shigemi Sugimoto (Representative Director and President)
Business Operations Operations involving the manufacture and sale of digital cameras (primarily mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras), interchangeable lenses, IC recorders, and other audio products
Company names and product names contained in this notice are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
We don't cover Olympus products here at this time, but it is still interesting to keep up on the industry news. From Olympus:
September 30, 2020
Olympus Agreed on Transfer of Imaging Business with JIP
Tokyo, September 30, 2020 – Olympus Corporation (“Olympus”) today concluded a definitive agreement with Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (“JIP”) regarding the transfer of the Olympus Imaging business. Under the agreement, Olympus will transfer its Imaging business to a newly established wholly-owned subsidiary of Olympus (the "New Imaging Company"), through an absorption-type split. This is to be followed by transferring 95% of the shares of the New Imaging Company on January 1, 2021, to OJ Holdings, Ltd., a special purpose company established by JIP.
Olympus began the manufacture and sale of cameras using the Zuiko lens in 1936 and became one of the world’s leading camera makers. Olympus was among the first companies to make small, lightweight compact cameras with professional quality, such as the award-winning Olympus ‘OM’ and ‘Pen’ series. Driven by the desire to make people's lives more fulfilling around the world, the company applied innovative technology and unique product development to distinguish itself in a highly competitive industry.
In recent years, however, the market has shrunk rapidly due to the evolution of smartphones, leading to a significant downturn for the digital camera market globally. Despite taking various steps to improve its cost structure and efficiency, Olympus’ Imaging business recorded operating losses for three consecutive fiscal years up to March 2020.
Under such circumstances, Olympus concluded that, by carving-out the Imaging business and operating the business under JIP, its business structure would become more compact, efficient, and agile, and it is the most appropriate way to realize self-sustainable and continuous growth. With a loyal following and long history of innovative products, the New Imaging Company would be committed to building on Olympus’ accumulated expertise and to continue providing customers with innovative, high quality cameras under the new business structure.
“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,” said Yasuo Takeuchi, President and CEO of Olympus Corporation.
“At the same time, I am certain that this opportunity is the best choice for our long-time patrons, new customers and photography enthusiasts. Under the new company, the development, manufacturing, sales and service functions will continue tight collaboration to introduce new products that will satisfy customers,” Takeuchi added.
The agreement applies to Olympus’ global Imaging business, which includes all R&D and manufacturing facilities currently dedicated to its Imaging business. The New Imaging Company will continue to provide high-quality, highly reliable products. Built on a solid foundation, including the Zuiko and OM brands, which are grounded in optics and digital imaging technologies cultivated by Olympus over many years, the New Imaging Company will be appropriately positioned to further pursue new developments.
Head of sales and marketing, R&D and designing departments for imaging products will be relocated to the headquarters of the New Imaging Company in Hachioji, Tokyo. Production will continue at the location in Dong Nai province, Vietnam, where imaging products are currently manufactured. The New Imaging Company will continue to provide customer support for the imaging products which have been manufactured and sold by Olympus.
Following the transfer of the Imaging business, Olympus will concentrate on Medical and Scientific Solutions, in our ongoing efforts toward making people's lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling.
Information on the New Imaging Company is as follows.
For the details about the company split and the transfer of shares, please refer our corporate disclosure “Signing of Definitive Agreement for Divestiture of Imaging Business.” (https://www.olympus-global.com/news/ir/2020/)
Interesting news from Olympus:
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 legallybinding definitive agreement for the Transaction (the "Definitive Agreement") by September 30, 2020. We will promptly make further announcement if any matters relating to the Transaction that needs further announcement occur.
1. Background and Purpose of the Transaction
Olympus's Imaging business began with the manufacture and sale of a camera using the photographic lens Zuiko in 1936. Through innovative technology and unique product development capabilities, Olympus has developed and launched various products, aiming to contribute to make people’s lives more fulfilling. Those products include: Olympus Pen, the innovative half-sized camera; Zuiko Pearlcorder, the world's first micro-cassette tape recorder; and Olympus OM-D series, the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
Olympus has implemented measures to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due to, amongst others, rapid market shrink caused by the evolution of smartphones; Olympus has improved the cost structure by restructuring the manufacturing bases and focusing on high-value-added interchangeable lenses, aiming to rectify the earning structure to those that may continue generating profit even as sales dwindles. Despite all such efforts, Olympus’s Imaging business recorded operating losses for 3 consecutive fiscal years up to the term ended in March 2020.
Under such circumstances, Olympus considers that, by carving-out the Imaging business and by operating the business with JIP, the Imaging business’s corporate structure may become more compact, efficient and agile and it is the most appropriate way to realize its self-sustainable and continuous growth and to bring values to the users of our products as well as our employees working in the Imaging business. Olympus therefore has decided to sign the memorandum of understanding for the Transaction.
JIP has strong track records in supporting strategic carve-outs that realize growth potential and encourage autonomous growth. By adding support from JIP, the NewCo, as the successor of reputable brands such as “OM-D” and “ZUIKO,” will utilize the innovative technology and unique product development capabilities which have been developed within Olympus, and will realize continuous growth of the business by bringing better products and services to the users and customers and by making itself a productive and rewarding work place for its employees.
2. Imaging Business after the Transaction
NewCo will succeed and maintain the research and development functions and manufacturing functions globally as reformed under the contemplated structuring reforms to continue to offer high-quality, highly reliable products; and also continue to provide supports to the imaging solution products that have been distributed by Olympus.
3. Outline of the Transaction
The specifics of the Transaction shall be decided in the Definitive Agreement after careful examination and consultation between the parties. The parties currently consider the outline of the Transaction shall be as follows.
The parties will proceed with the actions and procedures for Transactions in full compliance with applicable laws including consultation obligations and other requirements under local employment laws.
(1) Structure : (i) Olympus’s Imaging business will be transferred to the NewCo by way of company split or otherwise, and then, (ii) shares in the NewCo will be transferred to a new company to be established by JIP.
(2) Signing of Definitive Agreement : Scheduled to be signed by September 30, 2020
(3) Closing : Olympus and JIP strive to close the Transaction by December 31, 2020.
4. Structuring Reform
Prior to the closing of the Transaction, Olympus plans to implement structuring reforms to the Imaging business aiming to change the business structure of Imaging business to be more profitable and sustainable. We are currently investigating costs and other impacts of the structuring reform. If any future event which requires disclosure arises, Olympus will announce it promptly.
An investigation into Olympus Corp started in October after former CEO, Michael Woodford, exposed a major scandal. Results of the investigation have rocked the company and now include the arrest of 9 former executives and bankers according to Reuters.
TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Japanese police and prosecutors have arrested seven men, including the former president of Olympus Corp and ex-bankers over a $1.7 billion accounting fraud -- one of the country's biggest corporate scandals.
Tokyo prosecutors arrested ex-president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law, officials said on Thursday.
Read the rest of this sad story at Reuters. (thanks James)