Former Olympus Chairman and President, and six others arrested over scandal
The former President and Chairman of Olympus who oversaw the financial mismanagement that has seen the company's value more than halved, has been arrested. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and his former vice-president Hisashi Mori who has also been arrested, were only forced out of the company after ex-CEO Michael Woodford spoke out, saying he was removed for uncovering their actions. Company auditor Hideo Yamada and four bankers connected to the cover-up of billions of dollars-worth of investment losses were also arrested.
The arrests come ahead of the shareholder meeting in April at which many of the incumbent board members, present during the scandal, are expected to resign. Meanwhile, several large companies rumored to include Fujifilm, Sony and medical business Terumo are looking at pursuing a tie-up with Olympus, which is dominated by its profitable, market-leading endoscope division. The camera business, which makes up just 15% of the overall company, is forecast to contribute a loss of around $114m this year (down from a loss of $190m in 2010/2011), on the back of a 7.2% rise in sales, mainly in the Japanese market.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the UK's Amateur Photographer magazine, Woodford said his book about the scandal (called 'Exposure') will be launched in Japan to co-incide with the shareholder meeting on April 20th.