It’s always sad when a tech company or brand goes away. But it’s just one of those things — something starts, something ends. And that’s the case with camera brand Olympus: the company is getting out of the camera game.
Olympus announced that it would be offloading its imaging business in a statement explaining what would happen to the division. According to the statement, Olympus will be ” carv[ing] out Olympus’s Imaging business to a new company (“NewCo”) and subsequently transfer its shares to a fund managed, operated or otherwise handled by JIP”.
JIP, in the statement above, is Japan Industrial Partners. That’s a consortium that has bought out other tech divisions in the country in the past — meaning that Olympus may not be gone for good. Sony’s VAIO laptop division was also sold off to Japan Industrial Partners in early 2014, only for the products to return minus the Sony branding. It’s entirely possible that this is the last photography fans have heard of Olympus but it might not be the end of the OM-D lineup.
That certainly seems to be the intention. JIP intends to “…as the successor of reputable brands such as “OM-D” and “ZUIKO,”…utilize the innovative technology and unique product development capabilities which have been developed within Olympus, and…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 workplace for its employees.”
Financial details of the partnership haven’t been revealed but terms of the agreement are expected to be finalised by September this year. The deal should close before year-end, which means one of two things. Either the price for Olympus-branded kit is about to go up, or it’s about to become extremely affordable.