Moscow, Russia - April 23, 2016: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera in the hands of 15-year-old girl in a blue coat

Olympus will transfer its imaging business, comprising digital cameras and IC recorders, to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) by the end of 2020. Olympus first entered the imaging business in 1936 with the launch of the Semi-Olympus I camera and photographic lens Zuiko.

On Wednesday, Olympus signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with JIP with both companies committed to further discussions about the transfer of Olympus’ imaging business to JIP by the end of the year.

Olympus said during the ongoing discussions, the imaging division will continue business as usual. Sales, admin support, customer service and marketing departments will continue to support customers and remain committed to the launch of new products as planned.

“JIP has a strong track record of success and has maximised growth of many brands. It will utilise the innovative technology and unique product development capabilities developed within Olympus and will realise continuous growth by bringing better products and services to users and customers,” Olympus said in a statement shared with Appliance Retailer.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera 

“Amid the rapidly changing market environment, this form of business transfer will enable the imaging business further. Our direction and strategy remain unchanged and committed to creating high-quality products for all photographers.

“We believe this is the right step to preserve our brand’s legacy, the products, and the value of tour technology. Olympus sees this potential transfer as an opportunity to enable our imaging business to grow and continue providing value to both loyal and new customers, as well as fans and photography enthusiasts.

“We are focused on the ongoing success of the Olympus imaging business and grateful to our customers for their loyalty and support and their passion for photography,” the statement said.

Outside of its imaging division, Olympus manufacturers medical and surgical equipment including endoscopic, ultrasound, electrocautery, endotherapy, cleaning and disinfection; scientific microscopes and optics, as well as industrial scanners, flaw detectors, probes, and transducers.