Editor’s Note: (Tuesday, January 05, 2021 at 10:29 AM): We have added additional details about the transition, provided to us by an Olympus spokesperson.
Olympus has confirmed in an announcement on its website that it’s completed the transfer of its imaging division to OM Digital Solutions, the subsidiary of Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (JIP) that now controls the Zuiko and OM brands.
Olympus first agreed to sell its imaging business back in June 2020, when it announced JIP would be the new stewards of its camera brands. Further details were unveiled in September 2020, when Olympus laid out the framework for how the transfer would take place.
This new announcement, embedded above, confirms the transition has been completed as expected, effective January 1, 2021. In it, Olympus says Shigemi Sugimoto has been named President and CEO of OM Digital Solutions under JIP. It’s business will be ‘digital cameras, interchangeable lenses, IC recorders, etc. centered on mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.’ The company starts out with 37 billion yen ($360.9 million) and has 2,000 global employees at inception.
The announcement says sales and research and development will take place at the OM Digital Solutions Co. building in Takakuramachi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, while production of equipment will take place at factories in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.
We’ve also learned OM Digital Solutions has licensed the use of the Olympus brand name. So, in addition to the OM and Zuiko branding, the cameras will continue to be released under the Olympus brand ‘for the foreseeable future.’ This won’t always be the case, but an Olympus spokesperson told us they are ‘unable to provide the exact duration of its use, at this time.’
The Olympus spokesperson also clarified details of the transition, saying OM Digital Solutions ‘will retain Olympus leadership and capabilities in Research and Development, Production, Sales and Marketing.’ The roadmap will also remain unchanged under the new owners, according to the spokesperson. ‘Services, repairs and warranties will continue, and customers will receive full support for future purchases,’ as well.
OM Digital Solutions CEO and President, Shigemi Sugimoto, is quoted in the announcement saying (via machine-translated text) ‘[OM Digital Solutions] will continue to supply high-quality and highly reliable products [and] will continue to develop unique products for the creation of new value.’
|A screenshot of OMDS’ new website.|
What exactly this new endeavor entails remains to be seen, but we’ll get our first preview of Olympus’ brands under JIP in the form of a new website.