Auditors Probing Suspicious Olympus Deals Named

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Olympus has brought together a third-party committee to scrutinise the legitimacy four past business acquisitions as pressure from major shareholders and regulators has mounted to explain the deals.
The six members of the auditing committee include a former Japan Supreme Court justice, Tatsuo Kainaka, and a team of lawyers and an accountant.

The investigators will look into deals like Olympus’ $1.9 billion acquisition of UK medical-tech firm Gyrus Group back in 2008 which spawned a $687 million bill to a financial advisor based in the Cayman Islands.

Major shareholders like the US investment firm Southeastern Asset Management which holds a five percent stake in Olympus have pressured the company to not just explain the deals through a third-party auditor, but have moved to have board meeting minutes disclosed.

“There is no reason for management to wait till the investigation is complete to provide answers. The public release of all relevant board minutes would answer many of these questions immediately,” said principal of Southeastern Asset Management, Josh Shores.

While Southeastern Assett Management has demanded answers from a third-party auditor by November 16, investigation committee chairman Kainaka said that a report will take at least a month to compile.

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