Olympus' booth at Photokina 2014 in Cologne, Germany.

Sony is selling half its stake in Olympus to investment bank JP Morgan to free up cash for 'strategic investments,' the company has announced.

Sony bought a 10% stake in the medical and camera company in 2012, primarily to gain access to the global medical market to which it hoped to apply its sensor, 3D and display technologies. At the time Olympus's future was in doubt, following revelations that it had misstated its accounts having been secretly redirecting money to pay off long-standing debts that has been hidden from investors. The scandal wiped 75% off the value of the company at the time and the company is still settling lawsuits from investors.

The two companies have already created a separate medical joint-venture to apply Sony's technologies to products based around Olympus's success in the endoscope market. The original deal also included Sony gaining lens and optical know-how from Olympus, and supplying Olympus cameras with sensors.

Sony said it will receive ¥46.8bn ($390m) from JP Morgan for 17.2m shares in Olympus, having originally paid ¥50bn for its entire 34.5m stake in 2012.

In its last quarterly update, 72% of Olympus's sales came from its profitable medical businesses, while its loss-making imaging division accounted for 12% of sales.