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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Konica Minolta to Leave Camera Business

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The Associated Press

Konica Minolta Holdings Inc. said Thursday it will pull out of its money-losing camera business and will sell part of a plant, development knowledge and other assets for digital cameras to Sony Corp.

Instead, the company will focus on technologies that don't cater directly to consumers such as optics, copiers, medical equipment and device parts used for displays.

Terms of the agreement with Sony were not disclosed. The Japanese equipment maker and Sony have developed single-lens reflex digital cameras together since last July.

Tokyo-based Konica Minolta will cut 3,700 jobs, or 11 percent of its global work force of 33,000, including early retirement by Sept. 30, 2007, the company said in a statement. The company provided no regional breakdown, spokeswoman Yuko Ogiso said.

The company said the global camera and photo business has been rapidly dwindling, making it difficult to make profits in those operations. Thursday's decisions are part of the company's reform efforts that began last year.

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