Shigetaka Komori (right), President and Chief Executive Officer of Fujifilm, in a frank and revealing interview in the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (a.k.a. the FAZ), confirmed that Fuji considered buying Leica when it was for sale; however, that would have resulted in putting the guts of Fuji cameras into Leica shells, so he thinks it was an honest decision not to go in that direction.
He also confirmed that Fujifilm made an offer to purchase or partner with Olympus in the wake of the latter company's recent difficulties, but it appears that Olympus prefers to remain independent. He spoke about how the high yen is making it difficult for export-oriented Japanese companies such as Sony, Matsushita and Olympus (and by extension, his own company). He said Fujifilm would have found it easier to buy Olympus if it had not been a publicly traded company with two large Tokyo banks behind it (Tokyo Mitsubishi and Mitsui Sumitomo). Had Olympus been delisted from the stock exchange, things might also have gone differently.
Fujifilm has had a run of great success in the camera market of late, with the X100, X10, and X-Pro1 all greatly exceeding expectations. Fujifilm is also expanding into cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
(Thanks to Gerry Morgan)
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