Olympus has announced that Sony has bought a total of 35 million of its shares, thus the PlayStation maker has become the its largest shareholder with 11.46% in stakes.
There is no denying that Olympus is not doing too well in the camera department. What started with a decline in compact camera sales, ended with little turnout in all camera segments. As a result, the company changed its strategy and the first to take advantage of that was Sony.
The two parties have announced a deal back in September 2012. President Hiroyuki Sasa confirmed that Sony will buy a stake of his company, in order to create a “greater business synergy” in the medical field and digital imaging segment.
Olympus and Sony have quietly announced the completion of the deal last Friday. The latter has become the largest shareholder in Olympus with 35 million shares. The total amount of shares represents 11.46% of the voting rights.
Sony and Olympus complete multi-million dollar deal
President Hiroyuki Sasa confirmed that Sony has completed a payment of about £405 million ($614 million) to Olympus. Apparently, the first payment was issued on October 23th, 2012. Though the deal is said to be complete, the official statement mentions that the last payment date will be February 28th, 2013.
Olympus hopes that the partnership between the two companies will improve their “competitiveness” in the digital camera market. However, the deal is not all about cameras, it also concerns the medical department.
Sony has recently launched a new mirrorless camera, the NEX-3N, and a new translucent mirror shooter, the A58, while Olympus is said to focus on its mirrorless field by reducing DSLR investments. There are no new Olympus DSLRs in sight, though the company is still denying the rumor.
Sources familiar with the matter believe that both organizations will strengthen their Micro Four Thirds offerings. However, the deal is also rumored to be about OLED screens, new image sensors, and other technologies, but only time will tell.
We believe that it is unlikely that the two manufacturers will work together on a new product, such as a camera or a lens. Nevertheless, Sony will most likely supply image sensors for some of Olympus’ future Micro Four Thirds or compact shooters.
We expect more details to be revealed soon, which means that you must remain close to our website, as we present new information when it becomes available.