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Konica Minolta Shutters Camera Business
Jan 2006
TOKYO, Jan. 20, 2006 -- Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. said yesterday it will withdraw from the camera business as of March 31 and will sell part of a plant, intellectual property and other assets for digital cameras to Sony Corp. Konica said it will focus instead on technologies for nonconsumer markets such as optics, copiers, medical equipment and device parts used in displays.
The company said it will cut 3700 jobs (including early retirement), or 11 percent of its global work force of 33,000, by Sept. 30, 2007.
Konica said the global camera and photo business has been dwindling, making it difficult to make profits in those operations.
"In today’s era of digital cameras, where image sensor technologies such as CCD is indispensable, it became difficult to timely provide competitive products even with our top optical, mechanical and electronics technologies," the company said in a statement yesterday.
Konica Minolta, which announced restructuring plans in November, signed an agreement with Sony in July to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. Sony is planning to develop the cameras to be compatible with Konica's Maxxum/Dynax lens, Konica said.
Konica will also consign its camera service operations for Konica Minolta, Konica, Minolta brand cameras and related equipment to Sony.
Konica said it will reorganize its sales offices and withdraw from all of its photo sales activities by Sept. 30, 2007. For color film and color paper, it will reduce its product lineup and cease its color film and color paper production by March 31, 2007.
The company also said it will cease production of its Minilab business by March 31, 2006. Noritsu Koki Co. Ltd. will take over service and maintenance operations of Konica Minolta minilabs and peripheral equipment as of April 1, 2006; Kinoca said about 150,000 minilab units are installed in retail outlets worldwide.
The company also announced at a board meeting yesterday that Yoshikatsu Ota, currently director, vice president and a representative executive officer, was named director, president and CEO of the company, and that Fumio Iwai, currently director, president, CEO and a representative executive officer, was named director and chairman of the board. Their appointments are effective April 1. Konica also announced that Tomiji Uematsu, a director and chairman of the board, will resign as chairman of the board as of March 31.
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