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Olympus reveals massive balance sheet hit


Olympus reveals massive balance sheet hit


The true cost of Olympus’ 13-year long fraud has been revealed.

The disgraced Japanese camera and medical equipment maker has met a deadline for filing corrected accounts.

Failure to do that would have seen its shares delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange.

The new figures show an 847 million euros dent in its balance sheet leading to speculation it will need to merge, sell assets or raise capital to repair its finances.

Ousted CEO Michael Woodford, who blew the whistle on the loss cover-up and is campaigning to get his old job back, said that if reinstated, he would move fast to recapitalise Olympus.

But he said he favoured private equity or a rights issue over a strategic alliance. Rights issues – where existing shareholders are issued warrants to buy new stock – are rare in Japan.

“You have to look at improving the capital structure of the company. Because of the litigation risk, you couldn’t do that publicly, so you have (as) options a strategic alliance, private equity or a rights issue,” Woodford said.

He said a strategic alliance would lose Olympus its independence, “which I think the employees most of all would not like.”

Olympus President Shuichi Takayama has said he may sell assets or accept a capital tie-up to bolster the capital base.

Olympus has been dogged by rumours of bid interest from rivals, such as fellow endoscope makers Fujifilm and Hoya, or from private equity since it sacked its British chief executive and the scandal broke in October.

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