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Olympus Admits to Using Acquisitions to Hide Decades of Losses, Stock Plunges

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Olympus admitted today that its top executives used dubious acquisitions to sweep 20 years of massive losses under the carpet. At a press conference in Tokyo, new President Shuichi Takayama revealed that the 2008 acquisitions at the center of the company’s ongoing scandal were used to cover-up failed securities investments dating back to the early 1990s. Michael Woodford, the ex-CEO who brought the acquisitions to light, says that further inquiry is needed and that the company leadership needs to be purged:

This is a very big day. The big questions now are: who helped us – which outside companies? And what monies have they received? […] The position of the board and non-execs is untenable now.

The news immediately crushed Olympus’ stock, causing it to drop 29% in one day. The company has lost 70% of its market value since the scandal began in mid-October and is now facing major consequences — including the possibility of getting delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

(via Bloomberg)


Image credit: Chalk Farm Banksy by grahamc99

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