• Kyodo News

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Hoya Corp. has told Pentax Corp. it will continue to hold tieup talks with the camera maker through the end of May, instead of moving quickly to launch a tender offer, a senior Hoya official said Friday.

“Launching a hostile takeover bid before the deadline for negotiations passes is rude,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Hoya, a leading maker of optical glass, was considering holding a board meeting Monday on whether to launch a tender offer aimed at taking a majority stake in Pentax.

Hoya board members are likely to vote for the extended negotiations at the meeting.

But at the same time, Hoya is trying to get approval from its board of directors, most of whom are from outside the company, to adhere to its plan of launching a tender offer, despite the prolonged talks, the official said.

In December, the two firms reached a basic agreement, stipulating they are granted exclusive rights to negotiate on business integration through the end of May.

Earlier this month, Pentax scrapped a planned merger with Hoya through a stock swap.

At a top-level meeting Wednesday, Pentax asked Hoya to allow it to seek talks with third parties and give it about 60 days to examine Hoya’s alternative proposal of integrating their management via a takeover bid.

Hoya told Pentax on Thursday that it will not allow the camera maker to seek tieup talks with other companies until the end of May in accordance with the basic accord.

Hoya was considering obtaining each Pentax share for about 770 yen via a tender offer after the planned stock-swap merger hit a snag.

On April 10, Pentax gave up on the planned merger due to opposition from some of its major shareholders and discord in its management.

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