• Kyodo News

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Negotiations between Pentax Corp. and Hoya Corp. perked up Tuesday as the camera maker said it might be willing to accept the lens maker’s takeover bid after all.

New Pentax President Takashi Watanuki and Hoya Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Suzuki were expected to meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss the deal, a Hoya official said.

The development could signal a change in heart for Pentax, which went as far as sacking former President Fumio Urano on April 10 for his hand in quietly springing the merger proposal on shareholders last year.

Hoya, a highly profitable maker of optical lenses and glasses, decided to make a tender bid for Pentax after the camera maker rejected a stock-swap-based merger plan with the glassmaker in April.

Hoya is planning to offer about 770 yen for Pentax shares in June.

“We are hoping that Pentax will support the takeover bid proposal,” Hoya spokeswoman Akiko Maeyama said. “Hoya is making preparations on the assumption that it will support it.”

Watanuki said recently that Pentax is willing to fight the “completely new proposal.” But its biggest shareholder, Sparx Group Co., is said to support the new buyout scheme.

Watanuki has said Pentax will also hold a meeting this week with Sparx.

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