updated 05:15 am EST, Thu January 12, 2012
Samsung said eyeing Olympus, could partner
A new report has surfaced suggesting that Samsung may have its sights set on getting a slice of the scandal plagued Olympus. Olympus is currently picking up the pieces following one of the biggest corporate scandals to rock Japan after it was found to have concealed around $1.7 billion in losses through dodgy accounting practices. According to Reuters , Samsung is interested in investing in Olympus's medical imaging arm with the company short of capital following revelations of its accounting fraud.
Although Olympus is most well-known for its cameras, it has struggled to adjust to the rise of camera-equipped smartphones which has started to make owning a special purpose camera increasingly redundant for the average person. It does, however, have a strong hold over the supply of medical endoscopes. It is this aspect of the business that Samsung hopes to leverage in any deal that might be struck between the two companies.
Samsung joins Sony, Panasonic, Japanese medical-equipment firm Terumo Corp as well as Fujifilm who are interested in aligning themselves with the beleaguered imaging giant. Samsung has previously said that it is looking to diversify its interests into other technological growth areas where it does not already dominate, with healthcare at the top of its list.
Olympus has seen 40 percent of its market value wiped after the scandal erupted following its sacking of English CEO Michael Woodford who subsequently turned whistleblower, lifting the lid on the massive cover-up that dated back to the 90s. The scandal has seen several high-ranking officials on the board and management resign in disgrace and has sparked investigations by the FBI and Japanese corporate regulators.