Since months U.S. hedge fund ValueAct Capital Management, which owns 5% of Olympus is pushing Olympus to sell their camera business. Today Bloomberg writes:
Takeuchi also backtracked on some of his comments in the past that the camera business was not for sale, saying that may not be the case anymore. The imaging unit, which makes up 6% of sales, is the lowest margin and lowest growth businesses in Olympus’s portfolio, according to past company presentations. Olympus is working to stabilize the imaging business by focusing on its main markets, a spokeswoman said.
Years ago we had a similar situation with Sony where another US investor tried to push Sony to sell their electronic business. Sony was open to discuss the idea but than dismissed it. My guess is that Olympus is doing a similar play here. They have to say they are open for discussion but will do everything to keep their Imaging Business.
Still, it is damaging for Olympus to have to make such a statement as it creates confusion and mistrust. So even if they keep the camera business people will have a hard time trusting joining MFT.