Sony is selling half its stake in Olympus to investment bank JP Morgan to free up cash for 'strategic investments,' the company has announced. Sony bought a 10% stake in the medical and camera company in 2012, primarily to gain access to the global medical market to which it hoped to apply its sensor, 3D and display technologies. At the time Olympus's future was in doubt, following revelations that it had misstated its accounts having been secretly redirecting money to pay off long-standing debts that has been hidden from investors. Read more
Articles tagged "olympus-scandal"
Olympus will be prosecuted by the UK Serious Fraud Office over charges that it provided 'misleading, false or deceptive' material in accounts submitted by its medical supplies subsidiary Gyrus Group Limited. Earlier this year three former senior executives of the company were handed suspended jail sentences for their part in a massive accounting scandal which hid huge investment losses dating back to the 1990s, and was uncovered by former CEO Michael Woodford. A statement issued by Olympus states that the potential impact on the Group's business is unclear, as it's difficult to estimate the level of any fines which may be imposed if the prosecution is successful.
More than a year after their arrest in February 2012 for hiding massive corporate losses dating back to the 1990s, three former Olympus executives received suspended jail terms for crimes they admitted committing. In a story marked as one of the largest frauds in Japanese history, the executives conspired to cover up approximately $1.5 billion in investment losses. Olympus itself was fined ¥700 million (about $7 million) for the actions of Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former chairman, Hideo Yamada, former auditor, and Hisashi Mori, former executive vice president.
Nov 28, 2012 at 22:30
'It nearly killed me' says Olympus CEO-turned-whistleblower Michael Woodford of writing about his dramatic exit from the Japanese company following his 2011 exposure of massive corporate mismanagement. In an interview with Amateur Photographer Magazine, Woodford describes the strain on his personal life, and the process of writing a book about the experience with lawyers poring over every word. He also tells of his intention to give to charity much of the £10M he was awarded for unfair dismissal. Click through for extracts from the interview (from Amateur Photographer).
Sep 28, 2012 at 16:55
Following months of speculation, Olympus has confirmed it will enter a partnership with Sony. Sony has bought 21.2m shares in Olympus, at a value of ¥31bn ($397m). The deal does not constitute a merger or takeover, but will see the companies work together and exchange technologies. Olympus President, Hiroyuki Sasa's statement explains 'In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.'
Sep 26, 2012 at 20:04
Sony is planning to invest ¥50bn ($642m) in troubled medical and photographic company Olympus, according to news agency Reuters. The report says three sources have confirmed Sony approve a move to take a 10% stake in Olympus, which is still reeling from the revelations that its executives covered-up $1.7bn of loses dating back to the 1990s. The report comes a day after former Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and two other former executives pleaded guilty to fraud charges relating to the cover-up.
Jun 6, 2012 at 00:11
Panasonic is finalizing a substantial investment in troubled medical and camera company Olympus, according to reports from Japan. The Kyodo news agency is saying that Panasonic will invest around ¥500bn ($630m) in the business - making it the company's largest shareholder. Panasonic has little presence in the medical market, so it seems likely the move is as much about ensuring the continuation of its partner in the Micro Four Thirds collaboration, which could have been jeopardized if the much-needed tie-up had been with a rival camera maker. Update: Panasonic denies plans.
Feb 16, 2012 at 19:16
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. (from Reuters)
camera newsJan 24, 2012 at 00:52
Kyodo News International, a Japanese news service, is reporting that Olympus will introduce a 16MP camera based on its classic OM series. The news would tie-in with a recent Olympus press advert in the UK that highlighted the letters 'O' and 'M' in the text. The report suggests such a camera would sell for over ¥100,000 (around $1300) and feature 'high-speed autofocus and image stabilization functionality.' Meanwhile, Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Sony is considering investing in Olympus and forming a business alliance. Fujifilm which, like Olympus, has extensive medical interests is also rumored to be interested.
Former CEO Michael Woodford has issued a statement saying he will no longer seek to regain his position in the company. Woodford was removed by the company when he uncovered a financial cover-up aimed at hiding loses of over $1bn. He has subsequently campaigned to have the company's existing management board removed but has given up on the fight, having failed to win similar levels of support from Japanese shareholders as he received from overseas investors.
Offices and homes of executives connected to the Olympus accounting scandal have been raided by Japanese police. The move comes after a report commissioned by the company showed that losses of $1.7bn had been concealed for over a decade. However, the company did successfully file its amended accounts by the December 14th deadline imposed by the Japanese stock exchange to avoid being delisted. These restated accounts showed significantly reduced assets, and the company is now rumored to be planning to issue more shares in an attempt to raise money.
Dec 6, 2011 at 20:13
Legal action should be taken against the responsible members of a board of directors that was 'rotten to the core,' says the independant report into financial irregularities at Olympus. The report confirms the use of an elaborate scheme to move around $1.7 billion investment losses from the 1990s off the company's balance sheet. Those losses were then disguised as excessive transaction fees when Olympus bought other companies, and in write-downs on the value of newly purchased assets.
Dec 1, 2011 at 03:03
Olympus' former CEO Michael Woodford has resigned his position as director of the company and called for a shareholder meeting to dismiss the rest of the board. The company's share price had started to recover some of the 88% value it had lost in the weeks since Woodford was removed as CEO for highlighting unusual payments by the company (he remained a director). Since then the company has admitted using these payments to cover up losses on earlier investments. An independent committee established by the company has reported it has found no evidence of the rumored involvement of organized crime syndicates in the deals. However, three board members, including the President and Vice-President have resigned over the issue. (via Reuters)
Nov 10, 2011 at 11:54
Olympus's woes have deepened after the Tokyo Stock Exchange placed its shares 'under supervision' and warned of possible delisting. The news follows the admission that senior executives colluded for decades to hide investment losses from the market, and a subsequent statement from Olympus that it would not be able to submit its quarterly earnings report on schedule. The TSE has warned that the company will be delisted if the report is not submitted by 14th December, prompting a further fall in its shares which have now lost almost two-thirds of their value over the past month.
Nov 8, 2011 at 10:12
Olympus has dismissed its executive vice president after admitting concealing losses on investments. In the most serious revelation since the departure of former chief executive Michael Woodford, the company said that funds from previous acquisitions had been used to hide losses on securities investments since the 1990s. The news saw Olympus shares fall in value by up to 30% during Tuesday's trading.
Oct 18, 2011 at 20:44
Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford has launched a scathing attack on the company, following his removal from his post. Olympus had said Woodford was removed from his post over a difference in strategic direction between him and the rest of the Board of Directors. In a frank interview with the Financial Times, Woodford calls this 'utter nonsense' and states his belief that his removal relates to an investigation he had commissioned, into unusual payments and his suggestion that the board's Chairman and Vice Chairman should stand down over the issue. In response to suggestions that Olympus may try to prosecute him for disclosing this information, Woodford says: 'Bring it on.'
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