Sony buys 11.5 percent of Olympus

Sept. 29, 2012 at 8:41 AM   |   Comments

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TOKYO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Japanese electronics giant Sony said it would buy 11.5 percent of scandalized camera and medical equipment firm Olympus.

"As part of our strategic initiatives ... 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," said Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported Saturday that Sony has posted losses for four consecutive years. The new partnership is expected to put its main effort into "developing a variety of new medical devices that would not be possible by Olympus alone," Sony said.

Although the public knows of Olympus through its cameras, it is primarily a medical device company.

However, it was rocked by an accounting scandal that ended up damaging the company's reputation and its finances, The Wall Street Journal reported.

An investigation found the company had been concealing $1.5 billion in investment losses. The scandal became public when Olympus was found to have overpaid for a shell company, which triggered questions from its former CEO Michael Woodford, who was fired for questioning the board's behavior.

The company's former Chairman, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, later pleaded guilty to charges of auditing fraud.

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