Sony frontrunner to partner Olympus, acquire stake

Company becomes likely candidate to form alliance with scandal-hit Olympus after rival Panasonic gets cold feet, and also set to invest 50 billion yen (US$621.7 million) for 10 percent stake, reports say.

Japanese electronics giant Sony have entered final negotiations for a capital and business tie-up with embattled Olympus, that will see it invest about 50 billion yen (US$621.7 million) for a 10 percent stake, reports say. This follows recent news of Olympus having also been in talks with other companies such as Panasonic, Fujifilm and Terumo, they add.

According to a report Sunday by Asahi Shimbun, the move will allow Sony to push further in the medical sector and help both companies turn around their fortunes.

Sony and Panasonic both manufacture image sensors, a critical component of endoscopes, in which Olympus enjoys the largest global market share, said Yomiuri Shimbun in an article over the weekend. With the 50 billion yen investment, Sony will become Olympus's largest shareholder, the local daily added.

Olympus has been undergoing corporate restructuring, as it picks up the pieces following its accounting fraud revealed last year. The company is now seeking to improve its balance sheet with capital injections and other means, noted Yomiuri.



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