August 24, 2012 / 8:20 AM / 5 years ago

Olympus sells mobile telecom unit to fund for $676 million

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Olympus Corp (7733.T) said on Friday it will sell its mobile telecom business for 53 billion yen ($676 million) to an investment fund, as the cash-strapped medical equipment and camera maker tries to rebuild from a massive accounting fraud.

Olympus, which admitted last year that it had hid huge investment losses since the 1990s, has been seeking to sell some of its businesses outside its core operations of endoscopes, microscopes and cameras.

The firm will split its subsidiary ITX Corp into two, and sell off the unit with the main mobile-phone retailing business to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, Olympus said in a statement.

The sale is set to be completed on September 28, Olympus said. The other unit will still be owned by Olympus.

Olympus, which is in talks with Sony Corp (6758.T), Fujifilm Holdings (4901.T) and others on a possible capital alliance, said it has yet to calculate how much profit it will gain from the sale.

ITX, a former technology incubator, was bought by Olympus for about 60 billion yen in multiple transactions from 2000 to 2011.

    Olympus shares had slumped as much as 80 percent after the accounting fraud unfolded in October, but have since recovered and is now about 40 percent down from the pre-scandal level.

    The shares ended down 0.3 percent at 1,496 yen on Friday, before the announcement.

    ($1 = 78.3800 Japanese yen)

    Reporting by Mayumi Negishi and Yoko Kubota; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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