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Panasonic gives Olympus $632m to become top shareholder

updated 10:20 am EDT, Wed June 6, 2012

Panasonic, Olympus finalize talks for majority stakeholding, up to $632m in funds

Panasonic is in the final stages of providing scandal-stricken Olympus as much as 50 billion yen in capital in order to bail it out. In doing so, it will become the camera and healthcare system maker's major shareholder, Reuters reported on Wednesday. A tie-up with either Panasonic or Samsung was rumored as far back as January.

Japanese media last week reported Olympus is planning on letting go of 2,500 workers and offering an equity stake to Panasonic or Sony, with the result of that now clear. Sources say Olympus will privately offer shares to Panasonic valued at between 30 billion ($379 million) and 50 billion yen ($632 million).

Panasonic is facing losses from its TV business, but speculators and analysts suggest it aims to expand into the healthcare industry in order to secure a more stable source of revenue. This is where Olympus would come in, as its mainline operation involves catering to the healthcare industry. In turn, Olympus will get funds for restructuring and marketing resources.

Olympus and six executives were criminally charged in March for a $1.7 billion accounting fraud.

by MacNN Staff



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