Olympus has neither confirmed nor denied reports that Panasonic is poised to buy a majority stake in the fraud-hit company.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Panasonic is making final arrangements to supply up to 50 billion yen (£409m) in capital.

This would make Panasonic the company’s ‘top shareholder’, adds an article by Reuters.

In a statement, Olympus said the report was not based on an official company announcement, adding: ‘The company will immediately disclose any further important information when it comes to light.’

A Panasonic UK spokesperson had yet to comment at the time of writing.

Last week, Olympus’s Tokyo HQ hit out at press reports that the company was on the verge of striking a strategic alliance with Sony, or Panasonic, and set to slash 2,500 jobs worldwide. Neither Sony nor Panasonic were prepared to comment.

Meanwhile, Olympus has refused to say when its directors will meet to decide on a reported multi-million-pound payout to whistleblower Michael Woodford.

Woodford reached an out-of-court settlement with Olympus ahead of an employment tribunal where, last Tuesday, the former CEO had planned to bring a case against the company for unfair dismissal.

The settlement is reported to be worth around £10m.