Home > companies > Sony agrees to halve its Olympus stake with sale to JPMorgan

Tokyo: Sony Corp. agreed to sell half its stake in Olympus Corp. to fund strategic investments, just two years after the Japanese companies formed a medical-device venture.

Sony entered into a contract to sell the shares to JPMorgan Chase and Co., reducing its Olympus holding to about 5%, the electronics maker said in a statement Wednesday. The stock sold for ¥71.8 billion ($600 million), Sony said in a separate release Thursday.

Tokyo-based Sony, the largest shareholder in the maker of endoscopes and cameras, pared its holdings after agreeing in 2012 to pay ¥50 billion for the stake. The electronics maker said it will book a ¥46.8 billion windfall from the deal in the current quarter.

Sony’s shares rose 2.8% to ¥3,326.5 at the closes in Tokyo trading. Olympus fell 3.9% to ¥4,250, the biggest drop since 6 January.

“We plan to use the funds to strengthen our financial base and for growth investments," said Koji Kurata, a spokesman for Sony. “We still intend to continue collaborating and maintain our partnership."

Chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai has said he wants Sony to move into health-care equipment by using the edge its image sensors have over rivals. Those sensors also are used in smartphones and compact cameras. Bloomberg

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