Sony to invest 50 billion yen to take 11 per cent stake in Olympus

TOKYO – Sony and Olympus have agreed on a business alliance that will see Sony Corp. invest 50 billion yen (US$640 million) for an 11 per cent stake in the embattled medical equipment and camera company.

Olympus Corp. has been on shaky ground after its British chief executive turned whistleblower and helped unearth a scandal involving a systematic coverup of massive losses.

The deal, announced today, was widely expected as Sony president Kazuo Hirai had expressed interest in such a move as part of a turnaround at the Japanese electronics and entertainment company.

Sony has reported losses for four straight years.

The two companies said they will set up a company together later this year, 51 per cent owned by Sony and the rest by Olympus, to work on new businesses.