Posted : 2010-01-19 16:32
Updated : 2010-01-19 16:32

Samsung Denies M&A Deal With Pentax

Park Sang-jin, right, president of Samsung Digital Imaging, poses with actress Han Hyo-joo during a launching event for the company’s strategic NX10 compact camera in Seoul, Tuesday. / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

By Kim Yoo-chul
Staff Reporter

Samsung Digital Imaging (SDI), Samsung Electronics' affiliate, has denied the possibility of buying Japan's Pentax Corp.

Park Sang-jin, president and CEO of Samsung Digital Imaging, said the company will maintain its current links with its Japanese partner.

"The need for the acquisition of Pentax has been reduced as Samsung has already internalized key camera-related technologies such as image sensors," the CEO said during a meeting with reporters in Seoul, Tuesday.

"We reviewed the M&A scenario a few years ago as Samsung was having difficulties in securing related technologies," the top executive said.

Upcoming hybrid digital cameras, possibly in the second half of this year, will be equipped with SDI's own lens and image sensors, he said.

"Another key point is that we will find new partners able to diversify possible channels for lenses."

Park said the company is targeting 15 percent of the global compact camera market by the end of this year, up from 12.5 percent in 2009.

"By 2012, Samsung Digital Imaging will have an 18 percent share in the segment."

Compact cameras account for 93 percent of the global camera market and the remaining 7 percent comprises of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.

Samsung's NX10, which will make its international debut in North America and Europe from early March, features a large APS-C size sensor, a bright active-matrix light emitting diode (AM OLED) screen and fast auto focus, the company said.

The NX10 also contains a range of intelligent features to put professional quality images within reach of the amateur photographer.

It also includes in-depth manual controls and a "Smart Auto" function, which automatically detects the surrounding environment of the shot and selects the right shoot mode.

"Our 'Smart Range' feature also enables the user to vividly express both bright areas and dark areas in the same frame, and the 'Supersonic Dust Reduction' system keeps those dust particles clear of the image sensor that can often impair the picture," Park said.

The executive said Samsung won't inject massive capital into the DSLR camera market due to low margins and the ongoing corporate shift toward the hybrid camera market.

"A very well-known Japanese company has been reeling from some 50-60 billion won in losses per year over the last few years in the DSLR market. We have no clear reason to strengthen DSLRs," according to the CEO.

"Consumer preferences are leaning toward hybrid cameras that offer a DSLR-equalized viewing experience. In line with the trend, Samsung will put more focus on hybrids," he said.

SDI is aiming for a 50 percent share of the local hybrid camera segment in 2010 by using Samsung Electronics' expanded distribution channels, and marketing campaigns.

The demand for hybrid cameras will rise to 9 million in 2015 from 5 million and 1 million in 2012 and 2010, respectively, according to market research firms.

"By 2011, Samsung will top the local camera market after passing Japanese companies."
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