Now, here is a news that will make cry the current Olympus shareholders (and me too). According to Reuters: “The payment is the largest M&A fee ever made…surpassing the previous record of $217 million involved in the 70 billion-euro takeover in 2007 of ABN AMRO by RFS Holdings, a vehicle set up by Royal Bank of Scotland and others.” and “The payment is equal to about a third of the acquisition price, jaw-dropping by normal standards where advisers usually take home about 1 percent or less of the transaction value for their M&A advisory services.”
Big Olympus shareholders made a lot of pressure on Olympus and as consequence ”Olympus is setting up an ‘independent committee’, made up of lawyers and accountants, to investigate controversial acquisitions following claims made by its ousted CEO“. (Source: AP).
The story never ends. First Olympus “declined to identify the advisers and said it no longer knew of their whereabouts.“. But Reuters found the answer after one day only: “A former Wall Street banker of Japanese descent (veteran banker, Hajime ‘Jim’ Sagawa) has emerged as a key figure in the scandal engulfing Japanese blue-chip firm Olympus Corp, according to documents provided by the firm’s ex-CEO.”
And than we have another news: “Ousted Olympus Corp chief executive Michael Woodford is consulting police over whether he needs protection after passing “new information” to British fraud investigators about the Japanese company’s irregular payments to advisory firms.” (Source: Reuters).
I think what we are experiencing here will lead to a revolution inside Olympus. The market doesn’t trust the board anymore and that situation cannot last. On the positive side, this may be the BIG chance for Olympus to make a new start with new managers and new ideas. I think within the next couple of months we will see huge changes!