Samsung open to link-up with troubled Olympus

SOUTH Korea’s Samsung Electronics is open to forging an alliance with Japan’s troubled Olympus, potentially joining other electronics firms in circling one of the world’s biggest names in medical equipment, sources said.

Samsung’s major Japanese rivals, Sony and Panasonic, have already shown interest in Olympus, now in need of capital after being swamped by a $1.7bn (£1.1bn) accounting scandal over the past three months, sources in Tokyo have said.

Olympus is best known for cameras, but makes most of its money in healthcare, dominating the market for gastro-intestinal endoscopes which are seen as the kind of high-tech, profitable and stable business that electronics firms would covet.

Samsung has ruled out any interest in Olympus’ loss-making camera business, but a company source said yesterday that it might consider an alliance with Olympus in other areas.