Responding to Japanese media reports, Olympus – a leading maker of medical devices – said yesterday: ‘The company has received proposals for a capital tie-up from several companies, including Terumo Corporation.

‘However, nothing specific has so far been determined as this issue remains under careful consideration.

‘The company will promptly disclose any information that should be disclosed, as it arises.’

Meanwhile, Sony is also reportedly poised to invest 50 billion yen (around £400m) in Olympus.

Last October, Olympus was hit by a £1.1 billion accounting scandal that saw the arrest of several key personnel and a £10 million pay-out to CEO-turned-whistleblower Michael Woodford.

Terumo was set up in 1921, introducing its first clinical thermometer a year later.