January 13, 2012 / 12:22 AM / in 7 years

Samsung CEO: Not eyeing Olympus healthcare business

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co is not interested in acquiring the healthcare business of Japan’s troubled Olympus, Samsung’s chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Samsung’s major Japanese rivals, Sony and Panasonic, have already shown interest in camera and endoscope maker Olympus, now in need of capital after being swamped by a $1.7 billion accounting scandal over the past three months, sources said.

Olympus is best known for cameras, but makes most of its money in healthcare, dominating the market for gastro-intestinal endoscopes, seen as the kind of high-tech, profitable and stable business that electronics firms would covet.

“We’re not interested in what others are already doing very well. Samsung will do what we can do better,” Samsung chief executive Choi Gee-sung told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Choi said Samsung was not interested in investing in Olympus’s healthcare business, but didn’t elaborate on whether Samsung was open to forging an alliance with Olympus.

Healthcare is one of the new business areas Samsung is aiming to expand.

On Wednesday, Samsung also ruled out any interest in Olympus’ loss-making camera business.

Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner

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