Company Acquisition

Hi everyone,

I have some important news to share with you.  A few minutes ago, Canon announced to the Tokyo Stock Exchange that we have accepted a $1,587.5 million (JPY) offer to sell our Digital Imaging Services division to Nikon, a privately held company headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Nikon is one of the largest players in the digital imaging services sector, and was formerly one of Canon’s biggest competitors.

Founded more than a 50 years ago, Nikon employs more than 3,000 in Asia and Europe and provides a wide variety of services, including digital cameras and lens, to consumers, professionals, and corporations.  Their clients include 90% of the Fortune 500 and more than half of Interbrand’s ‘100 Best Global Brands’.

As you know, Canon has enjoyed a high profile in the past 18 months, thanks in part to release of the EOS M mirrorless camera, which has also been a strong contributor to our group profits. It was not our intention to sell the business; rather, our strategy had always been to boost growth by acquiring a competitor.

In starting the strategic review process, it was the ambition of the Board to create a cleaner structure allowing us to concentrate on a streamlined business that would benefit from focused investment moving forward.  In addition, given the current economic climate—and with several potential acquisition targets off the table—it became apparent that growing Canon via acquisition was impossible.  During the strategic review we were approached by Nikon with what was a compelling offer and accepted.

I feel strongly that Nikon are worthy stewards of the Canon business we’ve built together.  They are an exceptionally stable company. They take pride in their technology and customer service.  They also care a great deal about the well-being of their employees. In fact, for each of the past nine years Nikon has been named a “Top Workplace” in the region where they are headquartered.  We wanted to make sure we sold to a strong business like Nikon to provide opportunities for our staff.

I would like to thank the entire Canon team for their contributions to the company’s success.

Starting this morning, I will be holding several open conference calls for all of our employees around the world. I will explain the reasons behind the sale in more detail, what it means for you, and answer your questions as best as I can.

I encourage you to attend the call for your time zone and you should have received a calendar invite already.

This is a landmark day in the company’s history.  Many of us across the entire business have put a great deal of time and energy into helping grow Canon Imaging Services to what it is today since Canon started its Digital Imaging Services division in 1998.  While I am sad that we will soon no longer be a part of the vibrant Digital Imaging business – nor get to work with the many talented people in Canon – the future for Canon Corporate is extremely bright and I am excited by the possibilities.

Our Transformation program has new momentum and will benefit our business significantly once it is completed this year by enabling both revenue growth and cost reduction.  The arrival of new compact entry level SLR’s from the second half of 2013 onwards will provide consumers with greater photography choice and drive increased camera ownership by businesses – a significant growth opportunity for Canon Global.

And finally, this transaction means Canon Global will possess an extremely strong balance sheet to provide a platform for future expansion and success.

I look forward to speaking to you on the calls later today and we will share the updated strategic plan for Canon Global with you all by the time of our AGM in late August.

Best wishes,

Steven Amell

 

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