Bloomberg News

Olympus Ex-CEO Woodford Visits Japan in Delisting Showdown

December 11, 2011

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Olympus Corp.’s former chief executive officer Michael Woodford will arrive in Japan the day before a deadline for the camera maker to announce earnings or face delisting from the nation’s stock market.

Woodford will have meetings with people related to the Tokyo-based company and he will also hold a press conference on Dec. 14, according to an e-mail yesterday from Waku Miller, his spokesman.

Olympus, which is probing about 70 executives after Woodford blew the whistle on a cover-up that cost 135 billion yen ($1.7 billion), is due to restate earnings and release second-quarter results next week after admitting to hiding losses for decades. Company “yes men” who failed to stop senior managers covering up the losses should be removed, Olympus said when it announced the probe this week.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has set a Dec. 14 deadline for Olympus to announce earnings to avoid automatic delisting. The bourse said this week that Olympus remains at risk of being removed depending on the scale of the restatement of results.

The company has lost the equivalent of $4.5 billion, or more than half its market value since Woodford was fired. The stock closed yesterday 2.4 percent higher at 1,206 yen.

Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC, an Olympus auditor, earlier this week said it formed a committee to investigate its auditing of the company.

Woodford, who has said he wants to avoid a delisting, plans to hold meetings to help revitalize Olympus during his stay, according to the e-mail. He will arrive on Dec. 13 and remain until Dec. 16, the e-mail said.

--Editors: Neil Denslow, Peter Chapman

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Richardson at brichardson8@bloomberg.net


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