Reuters is reporting a bit of board room activity in Japan this morning, which could, by the end of today, result in Ricoh purchasing the Pentax brand and camera business from current owner and proprietor Hoya Corporation. The global news agency points out that Hoya's initial acquisition of Pentax, back in 2007, was primarily motivated by its eagerness to acquire Pentax's medical technology, and although the company's had a slew of strong products since then, it probably makes sense for Hoya to pass the digicam work on to someone who might feel more invested in it. For its part, Ricoh also has a well respected line of digital compacts, but lacks the DSLR lineage and experience that Pentax brings. Provided this deal goes through as rumored, and Reuters has three sources who say it's imminent, the only question we've got to ponder is whether the Pentax naming will take over for Ricoh's slightly less recognizable branding or vice versa.

Update: That was quick! Hoya has confirmed the sale. Thanks, Ben! It is as reported earlier: Hoya will hang on to the rights to manufacture and develop products for the medical field, while Ricoh is gobbling up the Pentax Imaging Systems products with a view to expanding its presence in the consumer digital camera market.