Olympus: Sony, Terumo possible capital partners

Japanese company reveals "50-50" chance it will select Sony as capital partner or Terumo may invest in it, as it seeks to increase capital after accounting fraud.

Olympus is continuing talks with Sony, Terumo and Fujifilm over potential partnerships, as it seeks to increase its capital after an accounting fraud.

The Japanese cameramaker's chairman, Yasuyuki Kimoto, told Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday there was a "50-50" chance Olympus would select Sony as its partner and added the odds were similar that Terumo might invest in Olympus.

Kimoto also clarified an alliance with Panasonic was "less likely", following rumors in May Panasonic was in the running as its capital partner. The door was "still left open" for Fujifilm, he said.

The chairman also said the company needed to increase its capital "rather quickly". The discussions would continue for at least two months and the company was planning to make a decision by the end of the year as Olmypus needed to find "a partner or some partners", he explained.

Sony declined to comment when approached by the newswire, while Fujifilm said it was "still waiting for a reply from Olympus" on its offer.

Olympus shareholders were reportedly seeking damages over last year's accounting scandal, and the company needed large amounts of funds to expand its endoscope business among other measures. The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau earlier this month also issued a 5 billion yen (US$62.46 million) charge to Olympus for back-taxes spanning five years and penalities for misreporting its financial transaction.