Olympus admits to wrongdoing, hiding losses with acquisition fees, Bloomberg says

TOKYO (TR) – Shares of Olympus Corp. fell their daily limit Tuesday after the camera and medical equipment maker admitted for the first time it used funds related to questionable deals to secretly cover losses on investments dating back to the 1990s, Bloomberg said.

The company apologized to shareholders after it informed the Tokyo Stock Exchange today it used funds paid to advisers to cancel losses it kept off its financial statements, including the $687 million fee it paid in 2008 in the $2 billion acquisition of U.K. medical equipment company Gyrus Group Plc., the news service reported. Olympus dismissed Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori for his role in hiding the cover-up, Bloomberg said, citing a company statement.

Olympus shares have fallen nearly 70 percent since the scandal came to light after it fired former CEO Michael Woodford on October 14. Woodford said he was fired for questioning the deals, including the $1 billion purchase of three Japanese companies that had no revenue and which were later written off.

The admission opens the 92-year-old company up to possible charges of accounting fraud and delisting from the TSE. An independent panel Olympus set up last week discovered the discrepancies.

Source: Bloomberg

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