by Ian Burley
Olympus has officially been reprieved from being delisted from the Tokyo stock market in the light of the financial scandal that broke last October. Olympus did enough to reassure the Tokyo stock exchange that it was doing all it could to put things right and the underlying business of the company seems to have been mostly unaffected by the PR turnoil that the company has endured.
Since former president and CEO Michael Woodford's failure to mount a return to the helm at Olympus with foreign investment backing there has been some corporate jostling for position in Japan as Olympus seeks an equity partnership with rival companies. It now looks like the front runners for a tie-up with OIympus are Sony and Fujifilm, with reports suggesting that Panasonic has now indicated it is no longer interested.
The main interest in Olympus is for the lucrative medical imaging division that has a 70% market share dominance of the endoscope sector. Fujifilm has a 10% share, while Sony has no presence in the endoscope market, but sees it as an opportunity to diversify from its traditional markets that are growing at much slower rates, if at all.
Meanwhile, the Olympus camera division soldiers on and has just started a teaser campaign in advance of a new product launch expected in the coming weeks.