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Olympus Acquires Assets of Opelco

Will Sell Microscope and Imaging Systems Directly in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, The Carolinas, Bermuda


Center Valley, PA, December 20, 2006 - Olympus America Inc. has announced an asset purchase agreement with Optical Elements Corporation (Opelco), a distributor and value added reseller of scientific instrumentation and systems based in Dulles, Va. Effective December 15, Olympus began directly servicing Opelco's entire sales territory, which includes the states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, along with the District of Columbia and Bermuda. Olympus is providing microscopes, imaging systems and other products for research, clinical and educational applications throughout the region with an enhanced sales force, including sales staff from Opelco.

“Opelco has been serving some of the region's most important life science customers, including key universities, laboratories and many government facilities, so we are starting from a very strong customer base,” said Dr. Stephen S. Tang, Group Vice President and General Manager for Life Science at Olympus America. “The Olympus distribution and sales structure is flexible, allowing us to sell directly in regions where it best fits business needs, while continuing our very productive relationship with dealers who capably represent Olympus' tradition of excellence. By building the appropriate type of distribution for each region, we can ensure that we provide microscope users throughout the country with the best knowledge, products and service.”

Opelco’s founder Hermann J. Esser is a microscope industry veteran who has been in the field since 1967. “The key to our success has always been having the best products,” he said. “Without the products we received from Olympus, we could never have achieved the growth and success that we have had for many years. So it is comforting to know that the business will be in such capable hands. We chose Olympus to take over our business to provide the greatest benefits to both our valued staff and customers. It makes passing the torch easy.”

Existing Opelco customers will continue to work with their current sales representatives, using their customary contact information for the foreseeable future. Eventually, office staff will be based at the Olympus headquarters in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, with direct sales representatives spread throughout the region. For more information, please contact Richard Baucom, Director of Sales for the Olympus Scientific Equipment Group, at (484) 896-5000, or email richard.baucom@olympus.com.

About Olympus Scientific Equipment Group

Olympus Scientific Equipment Group provides innovative microscope imaging solutions for researchers, doctors, clinicians and educators. Olympus microscope systems offer unsurpassed optics, superior construction and system versatility to meet the ever-changing needs of microscopists, paving the way for future advances in life science.

About Olympus

Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. Olympus America works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com .

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