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Konica set to snap up Minolta

Tokyo, Jan. 7 (Bloomberg): Konica Corp plans to buy Minolta Co for about 195 billion yen ($ 1.6 billion).

Konica will decide on January 16 how much in stock it will grant shareholders of Minolta, which has a market value of 148 billion yen and about 47 billion yen in debt as of last March. The combined company aims to cut 10 per cent of its workforce and double its digital camera market share to 15 per cent by 2006.

Sales of Japan-made digital cameras rose by almost half in the first 11 months of last year, eroding sales for Konica and other makers of traditional cameras and film.

After buying a company that lost money in the past two fiscal years, Konica would rank fourth in Japan among makers of cameras, printers and copiers.

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