Olympus to cut 2,500 jobs, consolidate overseas plants, sell 10 percent stake to Sony or Panasonic

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Japanese newspapers are reporting that Olympus will cut around 2,500 jobs — over seven percent of its total workforce — in an effort to stem its financial losses. The cuts will be announced on June 8th, and will come from the company's struggling camera business as well as the consolidation of overseas plants. Olympus has been in dire straits after recently admitting to accounting irregularities estimated at $1.7 billion.

In addition to the job cuts, Asahi Shimbun reports that the company is to sell a 10 percent equity stake for "tens of billions of yen" to either Sony or Panasonic. It's not the first time we've heard of possible partnerships, but Panasonic is a new addition to the list of potential suitors. Although known mainly for its cameras, Olympus is a big name in the field of medical supplies, particularly endoscopes. Nikkei is reporting that, due to internal restructuring and buoyant medical sales, Olympus expects its consolidated operating income to increase 3.7-fold over the next five years. While the accuracy of such a bold prediction will take a long time to validate, its nice to hear the company say something positive for a change.

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