Bloomberg News

Former Olympus CEO Dismissed Over Acquisition Probes, FT Reports

October 15, 2011

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Former Olympus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Michael C. Woodford said he may have been fired because of his inquiries into acquisitions made by the company in 2006 and 2008, the Financial Times reported.

The executive was pushing for more information on the purchase of Gyrus in 2008 and three other purchases, the newspaper said today, citing documents it had seen. Olympus auditors, including accounting firm KPMG LLP, also raised concerns about the Gyrus transaction, the newspaper said. KPMG declined to comment, the FT said.

Woodford told the FT that he was not allowed to speak at the board meeting that voted to remove him, the newspaper reported. While he did not have evidence Olympus executives benefited in improper ways because of the deals, about $1.3 billion in shareholder value was destroyed, he said, according to the FT.

A 2009 report commissioned by the company did not uncover any illegal actions, the newspaper said. The company said it has disclosed everything it was required to and declined to comment on payments made to financial advisers or Woodward’s other claims, the FT reported.

Calls by Bloomberg News to the Tokyo press office of Olympus outside business hours today went unanswered.

--Editor: Kim McLaughlin

To contact the reporters on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net; Takako Taniguchi in Tokyo at ttaniguchi4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


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