• Kyodo News


Pentax Corp. told Hoya Corp. during a top-level meeting Wednesday that it would continue to study the glassmaker’s takeover proposal, a Hoya official said, despite earlier indications that it was going to refuse the deal.

Pentax President Takashi Watanuki and Hoya CEO Hiroshi Suzuki held their first meeting since Watanuki took the top job April 10, replacing Fumio Urano, who had tried to pursue an equity-swap merger plan between the two firms.

Pentax had planned to hold a board meeting Wednesday and vote to reject Hoya’s offer outright. But it canceled the meeting at the last minute and told Hoya it would consider the buyout proposal, officials at the two firms said.

Pentax is believed to have decided it would not be wise to reject the proposal right away, as it does not have any alternative plan to raise its corporate value.

The two companies so far have not commented on the details of the meeting.

Hoya is expected to decide at a board meeting Monday whether to launch a tender offer to get a majority stake in Pentax, regardless of the camera maker’s position. Hoya wants to enhance its medical-related business by taking advantage of Pentax’s optical expertise.

That bid would most likely be a hostile one, as Pentax’s new management team has generally been negative to any acquisition.

However, sources said Hoya has begun to see the benefits of allying with Pentax dwindle, believing the camera maker’s corporate value has deteriorated following its internal dispute.

Hoya has been considering buying each Pentax share for about 770 yen in a tender offer.

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