TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp is the leading contender among firms jostling for an equity stake in Olympus Corp, Japanese business weekly Diamond reported on its website, as the scandal-hit medical equipment maker moves to shore up its finances.
Olympus may hold a news conference as early as this week on a possible tie-up with Sony, which would boost its existing 0.03 percent holding in the medical equipment and camera maker to several percent, the magazine said.
Diamond also quoted an unnamed Sony executive as saying that the consumer electronics maker's chief executive Howard Stringer had already given the green light for a deal.
Sony, which supplies image sensors to Olympus, is one of several electronics and precision instruments makers that bankers and media reports have said are interested in a deal as they target the lucrative medical sector, where Olympus holds a dominant global market share in diagnostic endoscopes.
(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo, Yoko Kubota and Tim Kelly; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)