UPDATED! Quick News: Panasonic To Rescue Olympus?

Olympus E-P1 camera sporting a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. Are the two companies about to join in a similar fashion?

According to a news article by the New York Times, Panasonic may actually step in to help free Olympus from its financial woes, by investing $635m into the company. Allegedly, Panasonic is “interested in expanding into the healthcare industry, which offers more stable revenues” (NYT). In return for providing Olympus with fresh money, which they desperately need in order to fund their restructuring, Panasonic will receive a considerable amount of Olympus shares, allowing them to directly partake in any future profits Olympus makes.

The two companies have already been working together for quite some time: first on the Four Thirds system, and recently on the Micro Four Thirds system. For us Micro Four Thirds users, then, this can only be a good thing, since it means that the diversity of the system (cameras and lenses from Panasonic and Olympus, lenses and accessories from a number of different companies) will continue in the future. Here’s to hoping that the Panasic/Olympus deal works out, so we can continue to enjoy both companies’ excellent products!

UPDATE June 8th, 2012: According to this latest blog post by 43rumors, Panasonic and Olympus both officialy denied the rumored deal. Seems someone has gotten something wrong there. Who knows, maybe next week they deny the denial?