Pentax UK?s managing director David Moore has welcomed Pentax?s planned merger with Japanese company Hoya as a ?positive? move.

Subject to Pentax shareholder approval the two companies will merge their operations on 1 October to form a new company called Hoya Pentax HD Corporation.

In a joint statement Hoya and Pentax confirmed that the merged company will ?continue Pentax?s imaging systems division?.

In a letter to its customers Pentax UK?s MD David Moore (pictured) said: ?Personally, I feel very positive towards this development from my experience of Pentax and Hoya?s strengths over many years.?

Outlining what they describe as a ?basic understanding for management integration? the two firms explained that the product range is expected to include digital cameras, lenses, microlenses, binoculars and contact lenses.

Though perhaps best known in consumer photographic circles for its filters, Hoya?s existing range of products includes lenses for cameras (including aspheric lenses), optics for LCD projectors, camcorders and spectacles. It also makes lens coatings.

Formed in 1941 Hoya also now makes ?photomasks? which are used for making semiconductors (these are used to copy circuit patterns onto silicon wafers).

Pentax, which is one of the most famous brand names in photography, began life as the Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co in 1919.

Moore asserted: ?The current Pentax organisation as you know it will continue to exist through a common structure? Hoya is an excellent company that is financially sound and successful.?

He added: ?Our product portfolios do not overlap. Mutual growth is anticipated by utilising the strengths [of] both companies.?

Press reports before Christmas suggested that Hoya’s current president and chief executive Hiroshi Suzuki will head the combined company following the merger which is believed to involve a share deal worth more than $770m (see AP?s website news 21 December 2006).

?Pentax has established its current position by technical product innovation and distribution expertise,? continued Moore. ?Hoya?s main business is in manufacturing and developing materials such as vision care products based on glass and plastic process technology, and crystal products for lifestyle. I believe we will be generating synergetic effects and accelerate the growth by utilising each others strengths and will establish solid business co-operations.?

Hoya?s consumer product line-up includes crystal wine glasses and crystal jewellery.

For more details see forthcoming issues of AP, in shops each Tuesday.