The world of Japanese consumer electronics is a strange one, filled with backroom deals and cooperation that would make the U.S. FTC blush. Reuters is reporting today that Sony is selling down its stake in Olympus in order to raise funds for growth.
Here’s how this works: In 2012 Sony invested in then-ailing Olympus after a scandal rocked the company and the CEO, Michael Woodford was canned after exposing “one of the biggest and longest-running loss-hiding arrangements in Japanese corporate history”.
Olympus was burning and looked for investments to keep themselves afloat. Sony took a 10-percent share in the ailing Olympus. This week Sony announced that they’re reducing their ownership in Olympus from 10-percent to 5-percent in order to help invest in their own facilities.
Sony itself has struggled in the past few years amid a slump in the company’s electronics sales, although the shares have recently been recovering as restructuring efforts started paying off.
According to Reuters “Sony said it would book 46.8 billion yen ($390.4 million) in capital gains as it lowered its stake in Olympus to 5 percent from 10 percent through a sale to JPMorgan.”
So yesterday Sony owned 10-percent of any Olympus camera on the market, and today they own 5-percent. It’s a strange camera market.…