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Olympus and Sony confirm $397m tie-up to provide much-needed investment

By dpreview staff on Sep 28, 2012 at 16:55 GMT

Following months of speculation, Olympus has confirmed it will enter a partnership with Sony. Sony has bought 21.2m shares in Olympus, at a value of ¥31bn ($397m). The deal does not constitute a merger or takeover, but will see the companies work together and exchange technologies. Olympus President, Hiroyuki Sasa's statement explains 'In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.'

The tie-up is likely to focus prinicpally on giving Sony access to Olympus' strong position in medical markets, with Sony saying it will bring its high-resolution 4K video and 3D expertise to the table. Meanwhile, it has also said 'We also believe there are many potential opportunities for collaboration between Olympus and Sony's digital camera businesses, and are confident that by building on our respective strengths we can also enhance and grow our presence in this market.'


Press Release:

Announcement of Agreements Between Olympus and Sony to Form Business and Capital Alliance

Olympus Corporation (“Olympus”) and Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that the two companies have entered into a business alliance agreement (the “business alliance agreement”) and a capital alliance agreement (the “capital alliance agreement”) through a third-party allotment of Olympus's common shares to Sony.

Comment from Hiroyuki Sasa, Representative Director and President, Olympus Corporation

“In line with its medium-term vision announced in June 2012, Olympus has been pushing to enhance its financial strength and weighing the possibility of a business and capital tie-up for greater business synergy in the core business domains of medical and imaging. In this regard, we have decided to form a business and capital alliance with Sony, which is strong in image sensors and other image-related technologies. Partnering with Sony will provide great advantage to Olympus and enable the two companies to exchange various complementary competencies. Investment from Sony will help strengthen our financial base. In addition, through this alliance, the strengths of the two companies will merge, certainly making it possible for Olympus to contribute to world medical progress by developing a variety of new medical devices that would not be possible by Olympus alone. In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.”

Comment from Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation

“As part of our strategic initiatives announced in April 2012, at Sony we are aggressively pursuing the growth of our medical business, with the aim of developing it into a key pillar of our overall business portfolio. The business and capital alliances we have agreed with Olympus today will be integral to these plans. By combining Sony's cutting-edge technologies in areas such as digital imaging, 3D and 4K* with Olympus's long-standing experience and established foundations in the medical market, we believe that we will be able to create highly innovative and competitive products and generate new business opportunities in surgical endoscopes and other related areas where significant future growth is anticipated. We also believe there are many potential opportunities for collaboration between Olympus and Sony's digital camera businesses, and are confident that by building on our respective strengths we can also enhance and grow our presence in this market. All of us at Sony will spare no effort to ensure that the business and capital alliances, including Sony's investment in Olympus, will be a resounding success for both companies.”

*4K: More than four times resolution of Full HD. 4196 (H) x2160 (V)

Details of the business alliance agreement and the capital alliance agreement (collectively the “business and capital alliance agreements”) are stated below.

1. Reasons for the Business and Capital Alliances

The business and capital alliances are expected to allow the two companies to combine Olympus's lens and optical technologies, as well as the strength of its brand and R&D, with Sony's broad range of technologies including digital imaging technologies and apply them in the rapidly growing medical market. Sony and Olympus anticipate extensive opportunities to create new products and businesses and contribute to the medical industry. In addition, Olympus and Sony plan to explore opportunities for collaboration between their respective camera businesses including transactions involving core components primarily for compact digital cameras, with the aim of enhancing the corporate value of each company.

2. Purpose of Business and Capital Alliances

The purpose of the business and capital alliances is as follows

(1) Medical Business

The companies aim to strengthen and enhance their presence in the market for medical products such as surgical endoscopes and video microscopes through the development of new medical products and businesses. The companies aim to do this by aligning Olympus's manufacturing and R&D expertise, brand recognition, global sales and marketing expertise in the area of medical products, and its lens and optical technologies, with Sony's strengths in digital imaging technologies such as image sensors and image technologies including 3D and 4K. In addition, by combining the know-how and products Olympus has developed in its medical business with Sony's strengths in audio visual solutions, the two companies aim to establish a comprehensive systems integration business that offers high value-added solutions for operating rooms and other medical arenas. In order to implement the business alliance in the medical arena as outlined above, Olympus and Sony have agreed to establish a medical business venture. (Please see “Details of Business Alliance” as described below, for more information.)

(2) Camera Business

The two companies also aim to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.

3. Capital Alliance

In connection with the business alliance, Olympus and Sony have entered into a capital alliance agreement, under which Olympus will issue new shares to Sony through a third-party allotment. Under the terms of the capital alliance agreement, Olympus will issue 34,387,900 common shares to Sony through a third-party allotment (Sony's ratio of voting rights after the third-party allotment will be 11.46%, and the ratio of shares to be issued against the total shares issued and outstanding before such issuance will be 11.28%) in two tranches. The due date of payment for the first third-party allotment for 13,100,000 shares (“the first third-party allotment”) is on October 23, 2012, while the period of payment for the second third-party allotment for 21,287,900 shares (“the second third-party allotment”) is from October 23, 2012 to February 28, 2013.

The share price will be 1,454 per share. The two companies have also agreed that Olympus will make every effort to help ensure that a candidate nominated by Sony is appointed as a member of the board of directors of Olympus. For more information on the issuance of new shares through a third-party allotment, please refer to the related press release titled “Issuance of new shares through a third-party allotment and change in major shareholder” made by Olympus on September 28, 2012.
http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/tes/pdf/nr120928_4.pdf

4. Details of Business Alliance

(1) Medical Business

Olympus and Sony have agreed to establish a medical business venture company (the “medical business venture”) by the end of December 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals. By combining their respective technologies and know-how, the two companies aim to create ground-breaking products that go beyond existing frameworks, to generate new business opportunities.
i) Outline of medical business venture
Name To be further discussed and decided by the two companies (To be incorporated as a corporation in Japan)
Board members, etc.
  • Total number of directors will be 7 (Four to be nominated by Sony, three by Olympus)
  • Two representative directors to be appointed, with one representative director and the president to be nominated by Sony, and one representative director and the deputy president to be nominated by Olympus.
  • Two auditors to be appointed, with Olympus and Sony to nominate one each.
Type of Business (1)Development, engineering, manufacture and sale of the following products:
(i)New surgical endoscopes with 4k (or higher) resolution or 3D function, and related systems.
(ii)Any other products to be agreed between the two companies.
(2)Integrated solutions of medical and video equipment for operating rooms and other medical arenas.
Stated Capital JPY 50 million yen
Date of Incorporation During December 2012
Accounting Period From April 1 through March 31
Capital Ratio Olympus 49%, Sony 51%

* Details such as company name, location, net assets, total assets, etc. will be announced once finalized.

 
ii) Prospects for medical business venture
The two companies anticipate the global surgical medical equipment market will grow to a value over JPY 750 billion yen by 2020 and, within that market, also anticipate that surgical endoscopes and other related areas at which the medical business venture is targeting will grow to a value over JPY 330 billion yen globally by 2020. In these latter areas, the medical business venture aims to have more than 20% market share by 2020
The two companies have agreed to expand medical product sales by leveraging both companies' sales networks.

(2) Camera Business

The two companies aim to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.

5. Company Outlines

NameOlympus Corp.Sony Corp.
Location 2-43-2 Hatagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Title and Name of Representative Hiroyuki Sasa, Representative Director, President and CEO Kazuo Hirai,
Representative Corporate Executive Officer
Type of Business Manufacture and sale of precision instruments and machinery Manufacture and sale of electronic products and components
Stated Capital JPY 48,332 million (as of March 31, 2012) JPY 630,923 million (as of March 31, 2012)
Date of Incorporation October 12, 1919 May 7, 1946
Major Shareholders and Shareholding Ratio (as of March 31, 2012) Nippon Life Insurance Company 4.89% Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Trust Account) 7.01%
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. 4.89% Moxley and Company LLC (Standing Proxy: The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.) 6.66%
The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd. (Trust Account) 3.71% The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd. (Trust Account) 5.10%
Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation retirement benefit trust account re-entrusted by The Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Ltd.) 3.31% SSBT OD05 Omnibus Account - Treaty Clients (Standing Proxy: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) 2.39%
Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Trust Account) 3.11% Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Trust Account 9) 2.08%
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation 3.07% State Street Bank and Trust Company (Standing Proxy: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) 1.21%
MORGAN STANLEY PRIVATE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION PB CLIENT CUSTODY(Standing Proxy: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Tokyo Branch) 2.55% Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Trust Account 1) 0.97%
Terumo Corporation 2.05% State Street Bank and Trust Company 505225 (Standing Proxy: Mizuho Corporate Bank) 0.97%
State Street Bank and Trust Company 505223 (Standing Proxy: Mizuho Corporate Bank, Custody & Proxy Dept.) 1.83% Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd. (Trust Account 6) 0.93%
The Hachijuni Bank, Ltd. 1.52% Mellon Bank, N.A. as Agent for its Client Mellon Omnibus US Pension(Standing Proxy: Mizuho Corporate Bank) 0.87%
Financial results for most recent three years (million yen)
Fiscal Year ending March 31 2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012
Consolidated Net Assets 163,131 115,579 48,028 3,285,555
(Note 1)
2,936,579
(Note 1)
2,490,107
(Note 1)
Consolidated Total Assets 1,104,528 1,019,160 966,526 12,862,624 12,911,122 13,295,667
Consolidated Net Assets per share 576.63 421.37 167.76 2,955.47 2,538.89 2,021.66
Consolidated Net Sales 883,086 847,105 848,548 7,213,998 7,181,273 6,493,212
Consolidated Operating Income (Loss) 61,160 38,379 35,518 31,772 199,821 (67,275)
Consolidated Ordinary Income (Loss) 46,075 23,215 17,865 26,912
(Note 1)
205,013
(Note 1)
(83,186)
(Note 1)
Consolidated Net Income (Loss) 52,527 3,866 (48,985) (40,802)
(Note 1)
(259,585)
(Note 1)
(456,660)
(Note 1)
Consolidated Net Income (Loss) per share 194.90 14.39 (183.54) (40.66)
(Note 1)
(258.66)
(Note 1)
(455.03)
(Note 1)
Dividends per share 30.00 30.00 - 25.00 25.00 25.00
Relationship between the two companies Shareholding Sony holds 100,000 common shares of Olympus (equivalent to 0.04% of outstanding shares with voting rights in Olympus). There is no shareholder relationship between affiliates of Olympus and Sony required to be referred to herein.
Personnel There is no personnel relationship between Olympus and Sony required to be referred to herein. There is no personnel relationship between affiliates of Olympus and Sony required to be referred to herein.
Transaction Olympus purchases several products, such as image sensors, monitors and recorders for its products from Sony.
Applicability as a related party Sony is not deemed to be a related party of Olympus. Olympus is not deemed to be a related party of Sony.

7. Future Prospects

The two companies expect the impact of the business and capital alliances on their respective business performance to extend over a mid- to long-term period. The medical business venture is expected to become a consolidated subsidiary of Sony. The two companies are currently evaluating the impact of the business and capital alliances on their consolidated financial results and financial position for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

Comments

Total comments: 106
MRAJ
By MRAJ (Oct 5, 2012)

I hope that SONY will not take full control over OLYMPUS like they did to SONY ERICSSON.

http://www.ericsson.com/hu/news/1558488

http://mashable.com/2011/10/27/sony-ericsson/

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
RoAlmeida
By RoAlmeida (Oct 1, 2012)

As many already highlighted, the core (and the money) of this partnership are medical devices, but it also brings a fantastic dynamic to the camera business. Assuming they can do so, why Sony would be so stupid to drop a powerful weapon like FT/MFT when they can use it so effectively to attack/block its arch-rival Panasonic in their own backyard? Besides that, Sony get what they need! Decent Zuiko rebranded glass! What mount would not love to benefit from it?

IMHO, LUMIX users will still buy Zuiko like the fantastic new 60mm macro, but like everybody else, they're definitely jealous for not counting on Sony's sensors in their future bodies, unless they switch to... Sorry Panny, it's too late to regret being such a greedy and bad partner..

Time will tell, but I feel more confident than ever I'll soon have new company to my OMD and my FT HG/SHG glass. Maybe an E-7 or E-50, but surely with the best available sensors, IBIS, SLT, High-Res EVFs/LCDs, etc..

Long live OLYMPUS! Nice move!

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Oct 1, 2012)

Whilst components may be similar Medical device manufacture, service, sales and post market surveillance is massively regulated business. and very different to consumer goods, Owning OLY would allow Sony a shortcut into that business and OLY the capitol to continue, Not sure on the consumer end of the business its difficult to see where that will mean anything other than a stay of execution for the Olympus brand and products

0 upvotes
Jay Jenner
By Jay Jenner (Sep 30, 2012)

Its not actually that much money. It will be interesting to see what happens of course. Olympus has over the years been paring down its product line as far as cameras are concerned (except in the lower compact end, where they have too many) Sony on the other hand is like Canon - its big enough to be able to have a huge range of products that are very similar. Its a scattergun approach - make loads and all of them will find a bunch of buyers somewhere.
This is not an intelligent approach and it is fueled by greed and fear more than innovation. Can't get left behind! Must put out a new camera that is with $10 of the new Canon/Nikon whatever model.

There is not much markup in consumer and prosumer photography market really. Not nearly as much as there is in medical imaging. Thats really why Sony wants in.

0 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

this captial alliance deal was mostly nothing to do with mirrorless or D-SLR type of camera business but only limited to compact and one inch sensored compact cameras.

and what Sony and Oly really care about is to set up a new medical company that produces some kind of NBI machines

so, dont expect too much from this Oly-Sony partnership.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Paul JM
By Paul JM (Sep 30, 2012)

do you have one ounce of information to support this assertion, other than just a bloated sense of self importance ?

2 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (Sep 30, 2012)

Read the article at DPReview or read ths other article where this detail is spelled out more clearly that even fanboys can't ignore it.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/photo-news/539186/sony-and-olympus-join-forces-on-cameras-in-400m-deal-update-1-50pm

1 upvote
kermitG9
By kermitG9 (Sep 30, 2012)

@Paul: There's an "annoucement of agreements" published by both sides.. Why don't you read through it .. here's a link I digged out for you:

http://www.fiercemedicaldevices.com/press-releases/announcement-agreements-between-olympus-and-sony-form-business-and-capital

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Oct 1, 2012)

This is really just common sense. The world doesn't need more digital cameras, and the market is fickle and with lots of overhead. As soon as you add the word "medical" to a device, the potential purchaser simply passes along the cost. You still have to be competitive but everyone charges a premium.

0 upvotes
OttoVonChriek
By OttoVonChriek (Sep 29, 2012)

It will be great to see what 4/3 can do with a decent sensor ;-)

0 upvotes
Phoque
By Phoque (Sep 29, 2012)

The OM-D E-M5 already has a decent sensor.

8 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Sep 29, 2012)

The E-M5 already has a Sony sensor.

8 upvotes
OttoVonChriek
By OttoVonChriek (Sep 30, 2012)

Well well, I never noticed that....let's hope there's more in the way ;-)

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Sep 29, 2012)

More money or we sink. Seems a common theme in the digital camera business. Glad to see that Olympus might survive. End of the concentration on M4/3 and Olympus/Panasonic now "just friends"?

0 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

no after this , Oly and Pana are enermies

0 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Oct 1, 2012)

Just some months ago Panasonic and Sony announced cooperation in development and eventual production of big OLED screen...

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Sep 29, 2012)

A lot of companies, many of Japanese interest/ownership, are in Medical.
Eizo monitors, Toshiba MRIs, Nikon microscopes, Pentax lenses etc.
I wish the new involvement will drop the final bill of us all when needed medical attendance. If not, who cares apart their owners and shareholders?

2 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Sep 29, 2012)

I used to work for Siemens, my gosh the prices they got were un-real. I retired and even today I find it amazing at the accounts they had at the highest price. Amazing. I hope Sony and Oly do good. Hi tech medical and machine programming. Which I did is a huge market. Wit huge profits.

1 upvote
Griffo 155
By Griffo 155 (Sep 29, 2012)

This is an interesting move by Sony. After all we all know of Sony and Olympus financial woes of their outfits. What's there to be gained by Sony move here apart from the massive medical market share that Olympus enjoy? Well in my opinion Sony have now repeated their move as they did with Minolta! Buying into an established name. It won't be long I bet before Olympus cameras and lenses will be rebadged to Sony labels and at the end of the day that's what Sony need - More lenses... On a side note this will push Nikon to move forward with their own sensor rather than using a Sony one!

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 29, 2012)

In today world you either source companies with components or buy them. I really doubt Nikon will invest high amount of money for Sensor development. Better for them to keep buying Aptina and Sony models as that way they get the best for less time and money investment. See what's happening with the Global Aircraft Industry where many manufacturers get parts from many companies around the world as that way, they keep R&D investment as low as possible instead of doing all by single company unless they have the money to do so by themselves..

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Sep 29, 2012)

Sony doesn't seem to have any problems selling sensors to competitors. They probably earn more money doing this than by selling their own cameras.

This actually puts Sony in a very good position. They make money whenever you buy their cameras... or whenever you buy Nikon, Pentax or now Olytmpus ILCs. They become a partner without making any investments. By being a vital supplier.

Some Canon users are probably wishing Canon would use Sony sensors too...

4 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

you are extremely exaggerating all things , this partnership deal will not change much about the way their interchangeable lens camera business runs but mostly to do with their new medical company that produces some sort of Narrow banding imaging machines.
one more thing, they will share LCD , EVF , and most parts of compact camera devices but it will not affect on their interchangeable lens camera division.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MediaRing
By MediaRing (Sep 29, 2012)

Just remembered what happened to the Ericsson name after the Sony Ericsson tie up in cell phone business after a few years!

0 upvotes
Documensony
By Documensony (Sep 29, 2012)

Sony Ericsson morphed into Sony Xperia ... now 100 pct. Sony.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

Remember what happen to Zeiss - it grew up to one of strongest and largest photography brands thanks to years-long cooperation with Sony. Currently they make their SLR lenses more as a hobby then anything else.

0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Sep 29, 2012)

SONYMPUS?

0 upvotes
rockjon
By rockjon (Sep 29, 2012)

I like Olympony better

0 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (Sep 29, 2012)

Smart deal for Sony. Their cash transfusion into Olympus provides them with a cheap way to enter the medical equipment market, and that money might just buy Olympus enough time to save their camera business. If Olympus cameras survive, then Sony gets to keep suppling them with parts. So Sony should make money out of this deal no matter what eventually happens to Olympus. Time will tell, in say, about 2 years or less.

3 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

you guys totally misunderstanding about this deal in original texit , they are mostly talking about a new medical company that they will set up by next April.
it is mostly nothing to do with their camera division, especially CSC business.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Sep 29, 2012)

smart move by sony. the healthcare business is where the profit is at, just look at the medical bills. Siemen make bank with their medical equipment, and sony can take a chip at that market.

Camera part, I don't see much chance except Olympus using more sony sensors, which they already started doing.

1 upvote
Pentax_Prime
By Pentax_Prime (Sep 29, 2012)

Thanks mods; great to see you take care of the resident trolls.

0 upvotes
KeeChiuPeng
By KeeChiuPeng (Sep 29, 2012)

Sony swallows Konica/Minolta, then Olympus, what next?

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 28, 2012)

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-medical/
http://www.olympusamerica.com/msg_section/index.asp

so looking right now at the products offerings by Sony and comparing those to Olympus, seems like Sony is interested more in endoscopy than other things.

Anyways, now that it's confirmed that the imaging division of both companies will share some technologies, I would expect some R&D expertise from Olympus being shared to Sony in order to boost the amount of lenses being designed for Sony range of systems or to improve things from Minolta/Sony designs. I don't expect Sony adopting m4/3 nor Olympus doing so with APS-C. It's better for them to continue with their own formats.

1 upvote
gustabod
By gustabod (Sep 29, 2012)

hopefully Sony will transfer peak focussing know how to their Oly cousins

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 29, 2012)

probably yes. Don't know how this will affect Sony own sales of mirrorless cameras, but peak focusing is very needed on all mirrorless cameras.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

5-axis IBIS would probably go to A-mount cameras, and de-nosing to... well... everything. Oh, and I'd expect some pancakes from Oly to the E-mount cause it's in quite desperate need for small lenses (recent pancake-zoom was probably most needed lens of all E-mount).

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (Sep 28, 2012)

I think Olympus is a great lens maker. Sony took over Minolta and used their lens . But now they have a new source for good opics. Now Carl Ziess is super, but Olympus will field more lens at reasonable prices. One of the reasons I stay away from Sony, is lack of lens. I feel as if this is one of reasons for this parternship.

3 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (Sep 28, 2012)

Would it be the end of Micro 4/3, or the rise of it ?

Time will tell.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 29, 2012)

Nah, m4/3 will stay for a long time.

and who knows, maybe 4/3 format will return. In shape of SLT maybe.

0 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (Sep 29, 2012)

Well, let's see, when Sony and Olympus collaborated for the first time we got the OM-D.

If that's the end, they ended on a really high note.

2 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Sep 29, 2012)

Think about this..... Sony cameras with Zuiko lenses! Olympus cameras with world class sensors.

This could be a win for both companies.

5 upvotes
RedDog Steve
By RedDog Steve (Sep 28, 2012)

Hopefully Sony will not "gut" Olympus or dilute the name.
Areas where Olympus has an edge or market share, such as the M43 for example, may benefit.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 28, 2012)

Huh? Sony is after the gut. That's what surgical endoscopy all about.

5 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (Sep 28, 2012)

No, no, no. Sony only has an 11% stake in Olympus. They do not have control of the company.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 28, 2012)

11% is quite large for a public company. And did you see the new medical products board they created? 4 Sony people and 3 from Olympus. I'd say they have some serious "control".

1 upvote
Documensony
By Documensony (Sep 29, 2012)

11 pct. means Sony is now the biggest shareholder in Olympus.

In the new Sony-Olympus medical joint-venture, Sony will command 51 pct. of shares and 4 out of seven board members ... and those majorities mean *control*.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 28, 2012)

Interesting, I wonder where the Sony-Zeiss partnership will go, now that Oly is coming with their lens tech. Anyway, one more of th eoriginal photo companies being taken over (not yet, but eventually) by one of the electronics giants. Only Nikon remains, Canon itself has become an electronic giant.

1 upvote
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Sep 28, 2012)

Why do you think an investment that gives Sony 11% of Oly's stock means that they will eventually take over Olympus?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Sep 28, 2012)

Because most of the rest of the shares are held by banks in trust for creditors who hold $6.5 billion in bonds and notes Olympus probably can't pay. Sony won't buy more shares until they learn whether the company can turn around or needs writedowns and disposals to be profitable. Then the price of takeover could be cheaper and less risky.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 28, 2012)

You are wrong about Nikon being the only one left. They are under the Mitsubishi umbrella.

1 upvote
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Sep 29, 2012)

Sorry, but I disagree. The Mitsubishi Group consists of a range of autonomous companies. Nikon is an independent company that is one of the 225 companies listed on the Japanese stock exchange.

1 upvote
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

well, it is much more complicated than that , Nikon is not really an independent company from its start, always one part of Mitsubishi.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Sep 30, 2012)

@ rhlpetrus Re: Sony-Zeiss partnership

It seems that Zeiss is going to make at least some lenses for both Sony E-mount and Fuji X-Pro cameras on their own.

Don't you count Fuji amongst the "original photo companies"? Ricoh-Pentax is a merger between two of them, and of course Leica are still standing too.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

And Zeiss will keep on making Full Frame A-mount lenses.

I don't think this partnership changes anything to Sony-Zeiss relation. In best case we'd see even more lenses then before.Zeiss would still release high-end lenses with Oly focusing around mid-range market. In worst case: Sony would keep on releasing lenses in a current speed. With no Olympus input what so ever.

1 upvote
FujicaST605
By FujicaST605 (Sep 28, 2012)

Olympus lenses w/Sony sensors. Might be a good combo.

11 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Sep 29, 2012)

Agreed: for example, Olympus could help fix the mismatch of small NEX bodies with oversized zoom lenses, and add some very nice macro lenses, while Sony does seem to have the best sensor technology right now, and could provide PDAF in the main sensor to support 4/3 SLR lenses.

0 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

that kind of things will not happen cause this deal is not about digital camera or imaging business of these companies , it is all about medical division of Oly and a new subsidery that will be set up by next April.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

The deal is about digital cameras as well. Read the original press release from Oly/Sony.

2 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Sep 28, 2012)

Customers only stand to benefit from the merger. Sharing technologies is a good thing.
Congratulations to Olympus & Sony. But mostly Olympus :)

5 upvotes
Jolly Oly
By Jolly Oly (Sep 28, 2012)

+1

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Sep 28, 2012)

It's not a merger.

3 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 28, 2012)

Oh look all the IDIOTS who refused to believe me when I said Sony WOULD get into Olympus Camera Department and not just the Medical one were wrong, what a F***ing surprise!

1 upvote
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Sep 28, 2012)

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. :-)

8 upvotes
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Sep 28, 2012)

If it's a buy-out, what about the other 88.54% of the voting shareholders? What about the votes of the other members of the board of directors?

We can each read the tea leaves our own way. We can take the announcement at face value, or weave hidden agendas. I'm going for face value for now.

On the medical imaging side? There's a joint venture that Sony will control. Sony brings the next generation of video to the table and shares in Oly's already powerful medical business. Olympus uses Sony's tech to remain strong and competitive, at lower R&D cost. Patent royalty costs may also be lower.

Cameras? Economies of scale and lower R&D. Sony works on the sensors, Olympus produces Sony-branded lenses and keeps its factories humming. Where mft lens designs/parts are adaptable to APS-C sensors, there's a chance to quickly grow the NEX lens line-up, probably improving acceptance of the product line.

All good business moves, all covered by the public statements. Seems clear enough to me.

2 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (Sep 28, 2012)

If you give a monkey a typewriter and enough time, he'll type Shakespeare.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Sep 29, 2012)

@DaveMarx

" In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.”

That was said by the Olympus PRESIDENT!

If you think that is "reading in tea leaves" Then you sir have no clue what the difference between facts and truth is and is not.

I guess that the invasion of Iraq isn't a fact either?

0 upvotes
Edwaste
By Edwaste (Sep 28, 2012)

I own both Sony and Olympus cameras, it should get very interesting for someone in my situation.

1 upvote
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Sep 28, 2012)

Trying to keep them apart in the bag?

3 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Sep 28, 2012)

Will Panasonic and Olympus still make compatible lenses/cameras?

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Sep 28, 2012)

Yes.

0 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (Sep 28, 2012)

Reminds me of when Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple in '97.

2 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Sep 28, 2012)

Right ... that went very well in the end, for Apple :-)

0 upvotes
Richard Schumer
By Richard Schumer (Sep 28, 2012)

That was about the time Steve Jobs returned to Apple. He not only brought his vision but also the Hollywood contacts he made at Pixar. That, eventually, led to the iPod, xPad and especially iTunes. So it is doubtful whether the money injection alone would have had the same effect.

At Oly, it was not bad management that caused its financial probs, nor bad products or lack of sales as at Applw it was felonious fraud.

There is no Steve Jobs, founding God, to bring back at Oly; the founder is long dead.

Asahi (Pentax) had similar probs after its founder died.

Vision is the thing.

Sony doesn't have it, either.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

what's so special about Steve and Apple?
I think they cannot beat Samsung.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

In what? Copying competition? Sure they can't. Noone can. In entire world. lol

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 28, 2012)

The approach benefits both companies. Both companies may have broader range of products offer to the public. Olympus adds FF and APSC to its product line; while Sony adds 4/3 to its product line... Share of lenses.... There are so many business opportunities. Sure, 4K is Sony's strength, it will benefit Olympus too! Might be in the future, there is an Oly F65.

It may be the right time to buy the Olympus stock. I would like to see there will be a merger or takeover in the near future. Just like Minolta.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Sep 28, 2012)

Good post, my thought exactly.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 29, 2012)

Really doubt a Oly F65. Sony Professional Video and Broadcast division is very careful about what they can share with even the Sony Imaging Division (Sony Alpha SLT and NEX series). I see more this like Olympus getting the best they can get with OLED EVF and 4/3 sensors, and if they want, SLT technology for 4/3 revival.. And of course, money.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 29, 2012)

Sure, Oly F65 is only an imagination.
But with the help of Sony, Olympus and Sony may jointly develop the transmission electron microscope and the related precision instruments.
I think both companies are eager to enter this market.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

oh noone wants to use Sony medical equipments.

Sony's quality control is you know?

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

Recently better then Nikon.
Or Canon.
omg.... I was really scared seeing Nikon gear in a hospital last time. God knows if it won't focus radiation on my brain instead of liver.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Sep 28, 2012)

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/28/sony-olympus-rescue/

“The deal also includes a component-sharing agreement in the photography space, with Olympus mirror cells and camera lenses being given to Sony, while image sensors (where Sony is very strong) will go the other way.”

2 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

it is for COMPACT camera such as the RX100.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Sep 30, 2012)

Mirror cells? What are they in a camera?

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Sep 28, 2012)

I'd love to see Canon and Nikon collaborate. Now THAT would be something!

4 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Sep 28, 2012)

How about Canon + Sigma? I'd love to see a camera with a Foveon sensor and Canon everything else.

'Cause a full-frame Foveon sensor (26MP or so) in a 5DIII body is what dreams are made of.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Sep 28, 2012)

Put Sony sensor in Canon, and the rest is moot.

4 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Sep 28, 2012)

Hell no, I wouldn't. Competition drive innovation.
An to the canon- sigma merger comment- really? Why, so you can get sigma lenses with a Canon logo?
No, we need independent lens makers to keep the big boys' prices down/reasonable & push them to put out better glass than 3rd party options

2 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Sep 28, 2012)

onlooker - Sony sensors are great - it's fair to say that they currently make the most well-rounded sensors available. Sony's biggest advantage compared to rival Canon, in my opinion, is the flexibility of low ISO shadows when working in RAW and better low ISO dynamic range, in addition to competitive high ISO performance.

That said, at low ISO, Foveon delivers a cleaner image than either (noticeably cleaner red channels and cleaner shadow detail than even the newest FFs) and better pixel level (key word) detail than any Bayer sensor design I've seen - there's no contest, really. Imagine how much better it could be scaled up to full-frame size.

0 upvotes
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Sep 28, 2012)

samhain - Who said anything about a merger? Even the main topic of the article is not talking about a merger - it's an investment on Sony's part (they'll own about 11.5% of the outstanding Olympus stock once the transaction is complete).

And no disrespect to Sigma, but I could really care less about their glass - historically squirrelly AF performance and less than stellar QC hasn't exactly made me a believer in third party lenses – despite the fact that this is more a result of the unwillingness of the first party manufacturers to license AF routines than anything else. Things probably won't improve much until that changes.

No, to me, the only truly appealing thing about Sigma is the image quality that the new Foveon sensor design is capable of delivering at base ISO, and the potential it represents.

The only problem is that Sigma has proven itself incompetent to date when it comes to building a responsive, well-performing (without regard to IQ, that is) camera.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Sep 29, 2012)

The only truly appealing thing to me about Sigma is the image quality. Its always been about the image quality. Now I've shot with the SD1M and it shoots just fine and is well performing in the iso 100 to 800 range. Beyond that---you better pull out your Canikons. However I don't believe in one camera fits all--so I've always owned different cameras for different purposes. The Sigma Cameras are for shooting the highest resolution images possible. Period.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
chekist
By chekist (Sep 28, 2012)

Though it is not clear what the outcome of the collaboration would be I am excited to see what could happen when two of the most innovative companies join forces.

3 upvotes
shoevarek
By shoevarek (Sep 28, 2012)

Going by past experience some probable results can include innovative products that don't sell or corporate scandals of the highest magnitude ;-)

1 upvote
lifeispixels
By lifeispixels (Sep 28, 2012)

The birth of SONYMPUS

6 upvotes
nidri
By nidri (Sep 28, 2012)

OLYMPONY

7 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Sep 28, 2012)

OLYMPUSON -- the newest Decepticon ...

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (Sep 28, 2012)

Olymponyblad

0 upvotes
crisno1
By crisno1 (Sep 28, 2012)

Or SonyBladYmpus ?

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Sep 28, 2012)

Haha, you cracked me up.... Solympusy lol

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Sep 28, 2012)

Sonselblympus would be fine.

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Sep 28, 2012)

Do you think it is time combine the sony and olympus forums; it seems sony now controls the digital imaging efforts of the world.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 28, 2012)

"In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies."

Considering that NEX and m4/3 directly compete, I wonder what that means.

0 upvotes
lifeispixels
By lifeispixels (Sep 28, 2012)

“The two companies also aim to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.”

Olympus makes lenses for Sony, Sony makes sensors for Olympus. win win.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Sep 28, 2012)

It would be nice if it meant a Sony NEX with a respectable kit lens like the ones Olympus usually puts together.

2 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Sep 28, 2012)

This is awesome news. I've been on the fence about jumping into Olympus products, but not any more ...

3 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Sep 30, 2012)

yeah dont do it , if you do jump ship , choose Fuji , it is a much more stable company than Oly.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 106