Shares in Japan's Olympus jump after chief quits

27th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Shares in Japan's Olympus jumped in early trade on Thursday after its under-pressure chairman and president resigned over a fee payments scandal.

Olympus, which had lost more than 50 percent of its value since the sacking of its British chief executive who raised doubts over advisory fees on recent buyout deals, rose 8.28 percent to 1,190 yen in the first hour of trading.

The stock had rocketed more than 14 percent shortly after the opening.

Company chairman and president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned Wednesday, less than two weeks after he took control of the company following the ouster of former president and CEO Michael Woodford.

Woodford contended that he was removed after querying the size of payments made by Olympus in deals between 2006 and 2008.

Kikukawa on Tuesday became a director without executive rights, and director Shuichi Takayama replaced him as president.

Since Woodford was ousted from his executive posts on October 14, the questioned payments have fallen under the media spotlight with company explanations leaving investors dissatisfied.

Olympus said it would hold a press conference later Thursday to explain anew acquisition prices and advisory fees on four deals.

Among the four deals queried by Woodford was the $1.92 billion acquisition of British medical-instruments company Gyrus Group in 2008 and the $687 million that Olympus has admitted it eventually paid an adviser on the purchase.

© 2011 AFP

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