Japan’s troubled camera and medical equipment maker Olympus managed to submit a financial report to correct balance statements from the last five years, just hours before a deadline set by the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Olympus avoided thus being delisted, but the high dimensions of the revealed fraud ignited speculation over a possible asset sale or even merger to save the company.
A 13-year fraud worth of $665 million “hole” in the company’s balance sheet was revealed.
A restatement for end-March 2011 showed a Y51 billion ($655 million) reduction in Olympus’ net assets. At end-September, net assets stood at only Y46 billion, compared to the Y225 billion announced in March 2007.
The company reported a net loss of Y32.3 billion for the six month to the end of September.
"Most probably Olympus has to increase capital. It’s best for the company to merge with others rather than rebuild by itself," said an investment officer at ITC Investment Partners.
Since the scandal at the company broke in October, rumors of bid interest for Olympus came from rivals like endoscope makers Fujifilm and Hoya, as well as from private equity entities.