Many companies in the photography industry are hurting. Hurting so bad that even the once great and still iconic company Kodak,was forced to declare bankruptcy. At first blush one may be quick to mark off Kodak’s recent turmoil as a simple shift in consumer focus. The emergence of smartphones with high powered cameras has greatly diminished the need for more traditional point-and-shoot cameras — something that Kodak specialized in and pulled much of their revenue from. Upon making this realization, one may also assume that only camera companies specializing in such cameras are hurting, but this assumption would be wrong.
Olympus has also found itself in a massive heap of trouble as their financial woes begin to to pile up. This trouble has had many different companies, including Samsung and Panasonic, coming forth to express their interest in buying out a controlling stake in the company. Unfortunately for Olympus, things have taken quite a bit of time to materialize, but recent reports seem to indicate that Olympus might soon be out of the woods.
According to the ever-present “sources familiar with the matter,” Panasonic will be stepping forward to provide Olympus with up to 50 billion yen. For those of you who don’t have up-to-date currency converter brain implants, that’s around $635 million USD. This massive capital infusion will in turn make Panasonic Olympus’ new top shareholder. This does not mean, however, that the two companies will be merged as they will both continue to operate as separate entities. Olympus loving, Panasonic loathing fans lay down your arms!
Kodak was one thing, but Olympus taking such a hit is another entirely. Let’s hope this infusion of cash helps the company find their way out of the gutter. And on that note, let’s also hope this is the last article about a photography company facing financial troubles that I’ll have to write.