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Olympus still struggling to recover from accounting fiasco

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by mauve, May 30, 2012.

  1. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    According to Reuters, in a bid to cleanse up the financial left over mess after ex-CEO Woodford blew the whistle on accounting frauds last year, Olympus is to lay off 2.500 workers and sell an equity stake worth over 10% of the firm's capital either to Sony or Panasonic.

    At the same time, Olympus and Woodford have come to a mutual agreement on the conditions of Woodford's departure.

    Those moves have been well received on the japanese stock exchange, but the dire financial situation of both Sony and Panasonic after record losses for both companies makes the operation even more complicated.

    Personally, I hope Panasonic strikes the deal instead of Sony, if only to strengthen the :43: standard that would otherwise be undermined if Sony were to enter Olympus' capital while they are competing head to head with Olympus with the Nex APS-C format.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    They're both competitors, one from inside the m43 tent, one from outside, but both are going pretty head to head with Olympus and all three influence each other's product decisions. I'm not sure one would be preferable to the other... I'd always hoped it might be Fuji because Fuji's and Olympus's design philosophies seems more complimentary and, at this point, they seem to be after somewhat different markets, although there's certainly some overlap...

    But I know absolutely NOTHING of the business implications for any of them. I'm just hoping Olympus comes through it with their autonomy largely intact.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I wouldn't worry. In neither company is the camera division particularly important. Heck, Sony makes more money selling sensors to Nikon and others than it does selling its own cameras...

  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, it cracks me up that everyone thinks of Olympus as a camera company. The camera business is a pimple on their rear that they keep alive against all business sense.

    Olympus is a medical imaging company, and all these decisions must be viewed in that light.
  5. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Indeed. I was curious and took a look at their recent financials and imaging was 128 billion yen out of roughly 800 billion revenue for the year. Not quite a pimple, however, if you look closer, they lost 10 billion in that segment. Medical was 349 billion with income of 68 billion.

    We'll be lucky if they don't decide to cut their losses in the imaging segment.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Imaging has been losing money for nearly 4 years. The time to have cut it would have been 2 years ago. At this point, it looks like they may finally be able to start making money on cameras again. Indeed if you ignored their limitless selection of low-quality P&S cameras, I suspect you'd find the Pen and its relations are actually making money (if not, they have some seriously incompetent management).

  7. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    I was thinking the same as Ray - Fuji looked to be a better fit. Quite why a business like Sony, which has just posted record losses, would be interested in Olympus is beyond me.
  8. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Because the Olympus medical business is long term profitable - they're not interested in the camera division.
  9. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    So presumably the camera side could be sold off to a sympathetic owner/partner?
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Except for Nikon and Leica, I can't think of one other camera/photographic focused company.

    Panasonic and Sony are mostly in electronics
    Olympus and Fuji are similar that they have a lot invested in Medical and imaging.
    Canon and Pentax too..

    I'm with NickLeon, I'm kinda hoping (long shot) some camera photographic nut aristocrat buys the camera assets of Olympus. No guarantee it would be a good thing but from a products standpoint it would be mighty interesting.
  11. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan

    According to The Online Photographer,Olympus has already turned down an offer from FujiFilm for the camera division.

    The Online Photographer: Fujifilm Confirms It Considered Buying Leica, Then Olympus

    My hope is that Olympus management decided that there is enough potential in the camera/lens selling end to warrant keeping the division alive rather than sell at what would have to be a reduced price (given the recent issues at Olympus).

    My fear is that no one is actually paying much attention to the camera/lens division at all given it's minority in the corporation and that when the corporation shakeup is completed the division will be sold off in bits and pieces and "Olympus" as a photographic entity (rather than just a name plate) will be gone.

    We live in interesting times.

  12. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I'm hoping all the Japanese camera companies are willing to stick it out. Not surprised they can't turn a profit when you look at the high Yen. Even on decent margins on products, the stuff they sell in the US becomes a lot less attractive (given the weak USD and relatively low prices) when you bring it back to the country in Yen. Maybe if we see some currency changes it will help all the companies there..I believe it's an issue for all export based Japanese companies.
  13. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I would say the easy money is on an electronics company like Sony buys them for "free" entry into the high margin medical business and closes the camera division to eliminate a competitor to their product.
  14. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
  15. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

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