Olympus delays results as deal inquiry gets under way


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The Independent Online

Beleaguered Olympus, which fired its chief executive after he raised governance concerns over a series of takeovers, has postponed the release of its forthcoming results after appointing a committee to scrutinise the deals.

The precision equipment group, which is known in the UK for its cameras, announced yesterday that it would not release its second quarter numbers on Tuesday as planned. The statement added it would "take some time" before it publishes the results. Olympus shares tumbled 12 per cent on the news.

While the stock recovered later in the day, about 60 per cent of the company's value has been wiped off since it fired UK chief executive Michael Woodford just two weeks into his tenure.

It put the delay in reporting its results down to the investigation currently under way by an independent committee set up earlier this week. The committee, made up of lawyers and an accountant, are scrutinising four deals carried out by Olympus including the acquisition of British group Gyrus, where the group paid its advisers a record fee of $687m.

The board added yesterday: "We sincerely offer our deepest apologies to many people involved including shareholders and investors. We will do our best to publish our financial results at the earliest possible date."