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BenQ Sells Digital Camera Business

Taiwan’s BenQ is still struggling to get back on its feet after a series of significant setbacks, including its mis-adventure in the mobile phone business (which has found the company essentially selling off the remainders of Seimens AG as scrap), the arrest of BenQ executives on insider trading charges, and the recent dicey move to spin off its own brand and keep hold of its manufacturing assets. Now, the company has announced a "strategic partnership" with Taiwan’s Ability Enterprise which has Ability paying book value for BenQ’s digital camera business, including manufacturing and R&D facilities.

"Digital camera is one of our most important and profitable product lines," said BenQ President Sheaffer Lee in a statement. "Ability will remain as one of our most important strategic suppliers for future BenQ branded digital cameras"

The deal is expected to close on June 30, and will have about 70 BenQ employees joining Ability as of June 1. Although the companies did not disclose financial details of the transaction, industry analysts and a BenQ representative have put the expected value of the deal around $3 million.

The arrangement will let BenQ offer digital cameras from a number of different suppliers while reducing their own manufacturing and product development overhead, although the company apparently intends to market cameras under the BenQ brand using Ability as a supplier.