Report: Panasonic to invest up to $637M in Olympus

Summary:Panasonic plans to expand into healthcare industry by investing in Olympus and may become top shareholder of scandal-ridden company, reports note.

Japanese electronics company Panasonic may be planning to invest up to 50 billion yen (US$637 million) in Olympus as it aims to make headway into the healthcare industry.

According to a report by Kyodo News on Wednesday which cited unnamed sources, the deal between Panasonic and Olympus was valued at 30 billion yen (US$382 million) to 50 billion yen (US$637 million), which will make the former the biggest shareholder in the latter company.

A separate Reuters report stated that Panasonic, which has been hampered by its loss-making TV business, have been exploring the idea of entering the healthcare business as it offers more stable revenues. Olympus would benefit as it would have access to funds for its restructuring and marketing efforts, it added.

Last week, Olympus was reported to be in talks with Sony and Panasonic to decide which company could become its capital partner, with the investment figures said to be in the "tens of billions of yen" for a more than 10 percent stake in the endoscope maker. The report also noted the plan calls for 2,500 employees to be laid off.

Topics: CXO

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The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate mas... Full Bio

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