Japan Industrial partners (JIP) are a private equity fund specialising in turning around so-called distressed businesses. Transactions with such funds and concerning such targets are usually structured the following way:
- Seller contributes the assets and liabilities to be divested into a NewCo.
- Seller adds an amount of cash into NewCo, representing two to three years of forecast losses / negative cash flows according to Buyer's business plan (as endorsed by Seller).
- Buyer purchases NewCo for one $/€/£/¥.
- Buyer manages and restructures NewCo and earns fees through a management contract.
- After a couple of years Buyer sells NewCo, as a going concern if the restructuring has been a success, bits by bits otherwise.
- Buyer gives to Seller a portion of the net proceeds from the sale.
JIP's cameras and lenses won't bear the Olympus name after a transitional period according to the following report (in Japanese):
事業売却後も一定期間はオリンパスのブランド名は残るという。= 'The Olympus brand name will remain
[with NewCo] for a certain period after the business is sold.
In other words, JIP will be allowed to use the Olympus brand for their cameras, lenses and voice recorders for a transitional phase after the entry into force of the transaction, then they'll have to drop it.
According to the press release, the Zuiko and OM-D trademarks will be transferred to NewCo and JIP will be entitled to use these brands freely and indefinitely.
According to Kimio Tanaka, a Japanese photographer who has had close relations with camera makers, Olympus first tried to sell their Imaging segment to various corporates. Nobody being interested, they decided to keep it and cope with the associated losses.
Eventually, probably under the pressure of some of their shareholders (e.g. the activist fund ValueAct Capital), they came to terms with selling Imaging to a private equity fund specialising in distressed assets, namely JIP.
I presume that, during an interim period, JIP will contract with Olympus the manufacturing of NewCo's products, in particular the manufacturing of the current and soon-to-be-launched products. Further down the road, JIP might outsource not only the manufacturing, but also the development of new products to third parties (ODMs).
This is the way they manage VAIO: VAIO don't develop nor manufacture, they contract these tasks and then sell the products.