Sony to invest $644 million in Olympus, to become top shareholder

Written by Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: Sep 29 2012, 08:40am hrs
Sony will pay 50 billion yen ($643.5 million) to become the biggest shareholder in Olympus, and establish a company with the cash-strapped Japanese camera and endoscope maker to develop medical equipment.

In a widely flagged deal, Sony said in a release that it will hold an 11.46% stake after buying new shares issued by Olympus. The two companies will also look for ways to cooperate in digital cameras.

"We are aggressively pursuing the growth of our medical business, with the aim of developing it into a key pillar of our overall business portfolio," Sony's chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai said in a statement on Friday.

Sony wants to nurture new businesses as it retreats from money-losing television manufacturing, while Olympus needs cash to fix its depleted finances after an accounting scandal forced it to restate several years of earnings.