Panasonic has denied reports that it is readying an Olympus bail-out package, despite claims in the Japanese media that it was preparing to spend as much as $635m rescuing the ailing camera firm. “I don’t know where that information came from, not from us,” President Fumio Ohtsubo told Reuters this week, when asked about the speculation.
Asked specifically whether Panasonic had a plan to invest in Olympus, Ohtsubo was resolute. “There isn’t any” he argued.
Original reports had claimed that Panasonic was seeing Olympus’ established foothold in the heathcare camera market as an alluringly calm prospect, as opposed to its own struggles in the display industry. The deal, had it gone ahead as rumored, would have made Panasonic the largest single investor in Olympus, and helped the camera company restructure after 2011’s accounting fraud.
Olympus shares had climbed amid the reports, but slumped again today after Panasonic’s denial of involvement. Previous claims had suggested both Panasonic and Sony were interested in a possible deal, while Samsung has also been name-checked as a potential suitor.