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January 13, 2012

Private equity firm (TPG Capital) may take over Olympus digital camera business

Reuters has a new update on the Olympus saga, private equity firm TPG Capital is interested in investing $1 billion in Olympus together with Sony or another able and willing partner (via Techmeme)

Of photography interest, make sure you read the "MESSY DEAL" section of the Reuters article that says TPG Capital could take over the less profitable body parts of Olympus which includes digital cameras, making the investment in the more profitable parts of Olympus more attractive to potential TPG Capital partners.

This seems to suggest that TPG Capital and other partners would invest $1 billion in the profitable Olympus businesses that would retain the mainline Olympus line, while cameras (and other not-very-profitable parts) would be transferred to TPG Capital, where their "gurus" would presumably try to optimize, re-organize, save, repackage, rebundle, sell, or-who-knows-what-else-they-would-do. Perhaps put them on the roof of their car and take them for a loooong drive.

As the Reuters article points out, the other Japanese electronics manufacturers are mostly interested in the (profitable) medical business parts of Olympus, either as a way to get into those particular markets or defend their current positions (Fuji).

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