On Wednesday, reports circulated that Panasonic was interested in injecting a $630 million capital investment into Olympus Corp, but Panasonic CEO Fumio Ohtsubo has stepped up to squash these rumors. According to Reuters, he said that “there isn’t any” plan to invest in Olympus.
This is unfortuante news for the beleaguered camera company, which is most definitely in trouble.
After hiding investment losses for the past 20 years, the entire accounting scandal was uncovered in November of last year, pushing the company down a spiraling path. Olympus is teetering — even drowning — with Reuters reporting a 4.6 percent equity of total assets for shareholders, which is well below the usual 20 percent that proves financial stability.
That said, the firm was looking for a strategic investor to pump some cash back into the company, with Panasonic topping the list of potential suitors.
Kyodo News Agency originally reported that Panasonic was ready to spend around $630 million in capital for Olympus, but Mr. Ohtsubo said, “I don’t know where that information came from, not from us.”
Other potential investors include Sony, FujiFilm, and Samsung, though it’s unclear if any of them will find Olympus’ medical business attractive enough to forget what Japanese media was calling the biggest corporate scandal in Japan since the 90’s.