Today very sad, but not so unexpected news, come from Olympus: the company has signed an agreement with Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. ("JIP") to sell its imaging division, the one that produces and sells cameras and lenses, by the end of current year.
We all know that the photographic market is strongly shrinking with the wide spread of "good" camera phones and people using more and more often their cell phones to take pictures instead of buying a camera. Olympus, that started building cameras in the far 1936 with Zuiko lenses, in the last 3 years made several attempts to make the imaging division profitable but without (completely) succeeding in that purpose and so it decided to sell that division to JIP, a company that is known for deep cost and organization restructuring.
The official purpose of this operation is to keep Olympus gears production and its related assistance live under a new company, but practically we will have to see how the new company deals with the imaging business to make it profitable again.
The full text of this announcement is available in this pdf document.