Olympus confirmed this morning that losses on securities investments accumulated since 1990 were concealed through massive merger payouts, contrary to its earlier statement refuting any allegations of wrongdoing. The original allegations were made by former CEO Michael C. Woodford, who was fired from the company on October 14th following his attempt to force an investigation into a number of suspicious acquisitions. According to an announcement by Olympus the largest of these payouts was roughly $687m, sent to an adviser in the UK following the buyout of Gyrus Group Plc., a medical equipment manufacturer, in 2008.
Olympus' share price has been tumbling ever since Woodford's allegations were made public, however the company's value fell by almost 30 percent following the new press release — a fall which could have been far greater if it wasn't for the Nikkei's 300-point cap on daily changes. The deception appears to have run deep in the company. Former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Executive vice-president Hisashi Mori (who was fired today), and auditor Hideo Yamada are all said to have been involved in the scheme.
Graph: Google Finance