Sony invests $645M in Olympus to become largest shareholder

Sony invests $645m in Olympus to become largest shareholder
Sony seeking foothold in medical supplies business

Despite its own well documented financial woes, Sony has coughed up $645 million (UK£400,AU$621) to become the largest shareholder in Olympus.

The deal will give Sony a 51 per cent stake in a newly created medical company, whereas Olympus will maintain 49 per cent of the pie.

Although the investment is less about Sony wanting a slice of Olympus' digital imaging expertise and more about taking a foothold in the medical supplies business, where Olympus is a big player, the two companies will also likely work together on imaging products.

"By combining the know-how and products Olympus has developed in its medical business with Sony's strengths in audio visual solutions, the two companies aim to establish a comprehensive systems integration business that offers high value-added solutions for operating rooms and other medical arenas," the new best friends said in a joint statement.

Camera collaboration not forgot

The investment was dubbed a "business alliance agreement" and "capital alliance agreement," according to a press release, language that points to a mutually beneficial relationship moving forward.

Sony CEO Karzuo Hirai stated that the two Japanese giants aren't forgetting about each other's respective strengths in the camera business.

"We also believe there are many potential opportunities for collaboration between Olympus and Sony's digital camera businesses and are confident that by building on our respective strengths we can also enhance and grow our presence in this market," he said.

The deal follows a year in which Panasonic, Samsung, and Fujifilm were all linked with significant investment in Olympus.

Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Olympus's former chairman, pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges of falsifying accounts in order to cover up $1.7 billion (UK£1.05, AU$1.63) in losses.

Via Hothardware, DPReview, BBC

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.