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Olympus cuts jobs, looks at tie-ups

Olympus cuts jobs, looks at tie-ups
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Scandal-hit Olympus is to cut 2,700 jobs – seven percent of its workforce – over the next two and a half years, mostly overseas in its manufacturing operations.

That is part of a recovery plan by the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker following a 1.4 billion euro accounting fraud.

Olympus’ board has also just agreed a 12.3 billion euro settlement with former chief executive Michael Woodford who revealed the fraud.

In its five-year business plan, Olympus will aim to sell peripheral businesses and cut the number of factories to 18 from the current 30.

The firm said it plans to bring its camera business back to profitability in the current financial year ending March 2013, while aiming to nearly double its operating profit for its medical business in five years.

Olympus also said it is considering tie-up offers from at least five domestic firms to bolster its precarious capital position.

Company president Hiroyuki Sasa said at a briefing Fujifilm, Panasonic, Sony and Terumo Corporation, as well as at least one other Japanese firm, had made capital alliance offers but Olympus had made no decision on a deal.

“We have not decided on the partner. We are in talks with all of them in the same way,” Sasa said.