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Olympus is getting out of the camera business

June 24, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Olympus new flagship micro four thirds system mirrorless camera, OM-D E-M1X is displayed during its press preview in Tokyo on January 24, 2019. (Photo by Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

Olympus is getting out of its 84-year-old camera business.

New York (CNN Business)Olympus is getting out of its 84-year-old camera business.

The Japanese imaging company, which makes most of its money from medical equipment, announced Wednesday it will sell its camera business to Japan Industrial Partners -- the company that acquired VAIO from Sony in 2014.

The sale marks an end to of Olympus' consumer camera business that began in 1936, when it introduced the Zuiko-branded camera.

But smartphones devastated the digital camera business, and Olympus' consumer camera division recorded operating losses in each of the last three years -- even after attempts at restructuring.

Olympus has long been rumored to be interested in selling off its camera business, which accounts for only a small portion of the company's overall holdings.

Yet CEO Yasuo Takeuchi had denied reports of selling the camera business as recently as November 2019.

Citing JIP's "strong track records in supporting strategic carve-outs," the memorandum maintains the new owners will continue to develop Olympus' cameras existing technologies for new products.

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