Olympus Continues Freefall: Rumors of ‘Underworld Links’ and FBI Involvement

More news from the ongoing Olympus scandal: despite an official explanation issued by Olympus last week, the company’s stock has continued to plummet. It closed today at ¥1,099, down from around ¥2,500 before the crisis began. Investors are apparently spooked after a major Japanese newspaper suggested that the payments at the center of the controversy could have links to the criminal underworld (something the company has denied). The New York Times is reporting that the FBI is now involved in the investigation.

Bloomberg writes that Olympus’ stock price makes it an attractive option for a potential acquisition: the current price pegs Olympus’ market value at $3.85 billion, even though its medical-equipment business alone is worth $7.8 billion.

Image credit: Olympus E-510 test by idua_japan

  • Anonymous

    In retrospect, maybe the cultural differences that led to Michael Woodford’s termination weren’t actually all that bad.

    – The Olympus board of directors

  • Anonymous

    Surprise surprise. Don’t see Olympus getting out of this one easily. I do see some Yakuza gunning down Woodford at the end of this drama though.

    It’s going to be weird looking back in 10 years and saying “Remember the Olympus Digital PEN cameras? Really unfortunate that whole camera line (and the historically sound imaging company, the OMs are beasts) got crushed under some a**hole CEO’s money grab.”

  • Wing Wong

    Wow. Seems it’s a whole slew of things taking out camera and electronics companies these days… *sigh*

    I think I’ll just make my A700 last another few years… :)

  • Scottrbaker

    Hmmm…  Attractive acquisition target.  I wonder if Ricoh has any more money left sitting around?

  • Anonymous

    Olympus is a very attractive acquisition for their dominance in endoscopes. The photography side is in trouble though.