Olympus shares fall 10.18% amid payments scandal

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Shares in Japan's Olympus lost 10.18 percent on Friday, amid continued investor concerns over a fee payments scandal that has wiped out around half its share value and forced two leadership changes.

Friday's renewed plunge came after the stock surged 23 percent Thursday.

Olympus has been mired in crisis since ousting its British chief executive and president on October 14, who contends he was fired because he raised questions about payments made in a series of deals between 2006 and 2008.

Among 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 paid an adviser on the deal.

Briton Michael Woodford was dismissed only six months after being appointed president and two weeks after he was also named chief executive.

The 30-year company veteran, Olympus' first non-Japanese president and chief executive, said he was removed after he wrote to chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and urged him to resign over the payments, citing major governance concerns.

Kikukawa assumed Woodford's roles but, under increasing pressure as media scrutiny and shareholder anxiety has intensified, resigned on Wednesday.

The company on Thursday defended payments made in the series of deals at the centre of the row. Olympus shares closed at 1,217 yen on Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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