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Sony is investing $644 million in camera optics company Olympus, earning an 11 percent stake and becoming its largest shareholder. The news confirms rumors floating around since June.
The investment will allow the two companies to work together on medical imaging (Olympus’s bread and butter) and, eventually, consumer cameras.
For Olympus, attracting Sony means securing something that it desperately needs: money. The company was hit with a major scandal last year when news broke that executives had cooked its books for over 20 years. The fallout ate away at over 70 percent of the company’s market cap and cost investors $1.3 billion.
Fast forward, and now Olympus has the life line it desperately needs. And Sony, too, has something: Another investment that will help improve its stake not only in the medical imaging industry but in the consumer camera industry as well.
Sony has been making a lot of major investments in consumer cameras, the largest of which was the $997 million investment in camera sensor production it announced in June.
The camera segment is a central component of the company’s “One Sony” strategy, and is joined by games and mobile. While its ongoing restructuring has shown to be a pricey one, Sony has shown it isn’t shy about making big investments in key areas.