NY Times reports camera maker Olympus confirmed that it had paid $687 million in advisory fees for its acquisition of Gyrus, a British medical technology firm that was bought for $1.9 billion in cash in 2007. The unusually high advisory fees were made public by Michael Woodford, a British executive who had been appointed president of Olymus in April and CEO only last month.
Exact details to whom the payments had been made are not disclosed, but a PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by Woodford alleged that some of the fees had gone to a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
Woodford was fired Friday for questioning Olympus' accounting practices, with the board describing the ordeal as a culture clash between him and the company's Japanese leadership. Olympus' shares dropped 22 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, following an 18 percent drop on Friday.
Olympus denies any wrongdoing and says it's considering legal action against Woodford.
Mr. Woodford, a British executive, was stripped of his title Friday for reasons the board described as a culture clash between him and the company’s Japanese leadership. He had been appointed president of Olympus in April and chief executive only last month.
Mr. Woodford later said that his dismissal had come after he commissioned an investigation by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers that found unusually high advisory fees paid out by Olympus between 2006 and 2010 as part of its acquisition of the medical equipment company, Gyrus.
Separately, Mr. Woodford had also questioned the acquisitions of three companies in Japan in 2008, for a total of $773 million, seemingly unrelated to Olympus’s main business, and the subsequent writing down of their value by three-quarters in the same year.
Use Disqus to post new comments, the old comments are listed below.
Re: Olympus admits it paid $687 million to advisers by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2011 @ 22:26:11 CEST
Were these payments to the Japanese mob? Sounds very shady.