Thursday 19 January 2017

Sony to sell off half of its stake in Olympus to raise funds

Pavel Alpeyev

Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30

A customer browses Olympus Digital cameras at the store in Tokyo, Thursday, June 30, 2005.
A customer browses Olympus Digital cameras at the store in Tokyo, Thursday, June 30, 2005.

Sony has agreed to sell half its stake in Olympus to raise money for strategic investments, just two years after the Japanese companies formed a medical-device venture.

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Sony entered into a contract to sell the shares to JPMorgan Chase & Co, reducing its holding to about 5pc, the electronics maker said in a statement yesterday. The stock is valued at 76 billion yen (€588m) based on yesterday's closing price of 4,420 yen.

Tokyo-based Sony, the largest shareholder in the maker of endoscopes and cameras, pared its holdings after agreeing in 2012 to pay 50 billion yen for the stake. The electronics maker intends to maintain its relationship with Olympus.

"We plan to use the funds to strengthen our financial base and for growth investments," said Koji Kurata, a spokesman for Sony. "We still intend to continue collaborating and maintain our partnership."

Chief executive Kazuo Hirai has said he wants Sony to move into health-care equipment by using the edge its image sensors have over rivals. Those sensors also are used in smartphones and compact cameras.

(Bloomberg)

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