Sony, Olympus delay medical venture as regulatory approval on hold

TOKYO Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:55am EDT

A logo of Sony Corp is pictured at an electronic store in Tokyo June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

A logo of Sony Corp is pictured at an electronic store in Tokyo June 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp (6758.T) and Olympus Corp (7733.T) have again delayed the start of a joint venture to develop medical equipment because they have yet to gain approval from some regulators.

"The examination by the relevant authority is taking longer than expected," the two companies said in a statement. They did not set a new date for operations to start.

Plans by the Japanese companies to establish a joint venture to design and build medical devices have struggled to win approval in China, according to a source at one of the corporations familiar with the matter.

Neither Sony or Olympus have said where they are still awaiting permission from regulators.

Sony in September said it would pay $532 million to become the biggest shareholder in Olympus and announced plans to establish a joint venture by the end of the year. In December it set a new start date in April.

The deal gave a much needed boost to Olympus, which booked a net loss of 49 billion yen ($521.17 million) last fiscal year after a decade-long $1.7 billion accounting scandal was exposed in October 2011.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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