• Kyodo News


Pentax Corp.’s entire board of directors will resign in June following President Takashi Watanuki, who has said he will step down to take responsibility for the confusion created by the camera maker’s merger talks with Hoya Corp., a Pentax official said.

All eight directors are expected to leave the board after a shareholders’ meeting in late June, with Ko Torigoe, Pentax’s senior executive officer in charge of the digital camera division, likely to replace Watanuki as president, the official said Thursday night.

Pentax explained the board developments to Sparx Group Co., an asset management firm that is its top shareholder, on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pentax and Hoya agreed Monday that the optical lens and glass manufacturer will launch a friendly takeover bid for Pentax next month, ending more than a month of tangled negotiations.

Pentax was considering keeping Watanuki as president but Sparx was against the idea, sources said.

Watanuki took over as Pentax president in April after the board forced Fumio Urano to quit and killed the merger deal he had made with Hoya.

Sparx had backed that merger plan, which has put them at odds with the board.

Initially, Pentax and Hoya were expected to officially endorse the tender offer during their respective board meetings Friday, but the camera maker has postponed the vote until next week, the sources said.

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