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Report: FBI To Investigate Olympus Acquisitions

10/26/2011 01:15:30 PM Eastern
Tokyo - Michael Woodford, the recently ousted British CEO of digital camera and optical technologies resource Olympus, reportedly is scheduled to meet with the  U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as the company's chairman announced his resignation.

According to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday, Woodford will meet with FBI investigators in New York today following claims of suspicious acquisitions by the Japanese camera maker that Woodford, reportedly refused to be a party to.

Meanwhile, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa tendered his resignation less than two weeks after he took control of the company from Woodford. Kikukawa cited the trouble the scandal had caused investors, customers and partners.

Woodford said he was fired by the company Oct. 14 after asking about the size of payments made by Olympus for acquisitions made between 2006 and 2008.

According to reports, Kikukawa will become a director without executive rights. He will be replaced as president by Shuichi Takayama.

The company said there were no illegalities concerning the uncharacteristically large purchases of several companies or of a $700 million advisory fee payment that had concerned Woodford.

Woodford was allegedly fired after urging Kikukawa to resign over major governance issues associated with the payments, according to an AFP report.

Company share prices have tumbled more than 50 percent since the reports of the scandal surfaced, causing investors to call for answers. Olympus said it would arrange a third-party inquiry into the matter.

 
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