Sony and Fuji ready to acquire Olympus shares?

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Reuters reports that: “Olympus Corp is preparing to issue about $1.28 billion (100 billion yen) in new shares to bolster its depleted finances, with Japanese high-tech stalwarts Sony and Fujifilm seen as possible buyers, the Nikkei business daily reported.” Reuters also says that Panasonic could join the “share shopping” too. This really sounds like a very vague rumor. Before Reuters and Bloomberg reported that also Samsung and Hoya may be interested in an Olympus acquisition. Such news are no-news anymore :)

All I know from my sources is that Olympus has a very close relation to Fuji, and there are rumors that Olympus is talking with Fuji a way out of the financial mess. But that’s just a rumor. I think it will not pass a lot of time that we will see Olympus real steps.

UPDATE: BBC reports that “Japanese prosecutors have raided the headquarters of camera and medical equipment maker Olympus as part of an ongoing investigation.”

P.S.: Olympus gives us some nice new m43 cameras and lenses soon so that we can help you out with our money!

 

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  • Definitely, admin! I’d be happy to help Olympus… bring on the lenses and bodies! :P

    • one of Woodford’s main backer’s at Harris associates is David Herro http://www.harrisassoc.com/opennewnews.asp?news_id=144

      see here http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2002/aug/04/theobserver.observerbusiness10 ousted original founders at Saatchi & Saatchi just as they had turned it round then the shares went from 500p to 40p …same thing happened at Glaxo from £20 to £11

      “His favourite chairman (Charles Scott) and chief executive (Bungey) have presided over a woeful decline in Cordiant’s (Saatchi & Saatchi ) fortunes, but somehow survived the annual shareholders’ meeting a short while ago. They are responsible for two major lay-offs, a string of profit warnings and a round of severe cost-cutting .”

      …”More recently, he has taken a juicy stake in Omnicom, the enormous international agency group, and the shares have subsequently halved. Why are we not surprised?”

      btw
      his fund now also own a large amount of Canon shares!

  • Boot

    Hi Admin,

    I thought you wanted to take things easier and relax ?!

    Go offline NOW :)

    • admin

      Yeah I also thought to do so. But the 200 comments form yesterday gave me a positive energy. I will try to give you my best to keep working. Thansk again for your kind words.

      • Torstein

        Why not give us some FT1 rumors for Christmas! :-)

        • Tobias

          Or FT-1 ;=)

      • Jesper

        So I’m gonna be a jackass so you can go offline and get some rest ;)

      • Admin, you should look up some tutorials on the subject of laziness and procrastination. You are apparently an incompetent n00b in the fine arts of doing nothing and letting it be. ;)

        Another recommendation on how to take a break is to give access passwords of the 43r/SAR to your wife and let her decide when you are allowed to post next time. WAF (Wife Approval Factor) of blogging should be pretty low, securing you nice vacations.

  • Ross

    I’d like to help them out too as I have a wish list for a few things, but who’s going to help me out to get them? ;)

  • Dius

    BBC reports that Japanese prosecutors have raided the Olympus headquarter today, as part of the ongoing investigation.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16281034

    At least we won’t have to worry about any more nasty affairs being kept secret… this might actually be good for them!

  • RickeyG

    I do hope Olympus survives this mess.. But if they go under, The Zuiko Glass and E5 that takes awesome photos now, will continue to do so in the future….. As for m4/3rds, Theres always panasonic………

    • Per

      Just pray that you don’t need to send your E-5 to service. In that case the future with your E-5 can be short..

      • digifan

        You don’t need to be nervous about that. It’s in service so no property of Olympus and therefore not applicable for confiscation/aquisition by any authority/bank. At least it’s that way in Europe.

  • gl

    Chill admin, you’ve done a stellar job (I read the site almost daily), but it’s not worth burning out over. Definitely take some time out, and maybe consider posting less regularly, or spending less time on posts (all the extra links you always throw in etc).

  • In the Reuters link, it is also worth checking the “Related news,” for example that:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/19/olympus-idUSL3E7NJ0M420111219

    Summary: the BOD, which is even the panel hired by Oly said is corrupt, is set to allow printing more shares in bid to let management retain its position and thwart evil plans of Woodford of returning.

    They also quote slightly different list of interested parties: “Panasonic Corp, Canon Inc and Sony Corp have been mentioned by bankers […]”

    Couple of other quotes:
    “If the incumbent board is allowed to sell off the company’s independence cheaply to protect its own interests, it will deal a severe blow to the reputation of Japan’s capital markets and corporate governance,” Southeastern said in a statement.

    Under Tokyo listing guidelines, Olympus can issue new shares equivalent to up to 25 percent of those outstanding without shareholder approval. At the current stock price, an issue of that size would raise 63 billion yen ($810 million). (My bold)

    Southeastern said Olympus was not in desperate need of capital given its healthy cash flow from endoscopes and more than $2 billion in cash — and warned that a share issue could leave it vulnerable to more shareholder lawsuits.

    and:

    Supported by profits from the endoscope business, Olympus has told its creditors that it could run the debt down to 409 billion yen by March 2015 without any fresh funding, though its cash pile would dwindle to 19 billion yen.

    What raises even bigger question why they need to raise the capital now, if they admit that they can still run just fine till 2015. It is as if they were paying off somebody for something…

    • from my comment on a post 3 weeks ago 43rumors.com/investigative-panel-report-is-out-olympus-top-management-was-rotten/

      see item 6.!!!!!

      “@Thom Hogan
      “Enlighten me. How do you reduce debt by Y246 billion with profits of Y69.3 billion? The only way I know how to do that is with asset sales.”
      is equal to about 3 years profits… agreed?

      1.well they could improve their already strong cash flow by reducing the amount of credit they give eg encourage suppliers to pay them faster.
      2.they could sell/licence some of their intangible assets eg patents etc
      3.they could raise s
      4.they could grow profits
      5.sell and lease back property they own
      6. issue more shares!
      7. they could employ some as influential as yourself to bad mouth the competition at any and every opportunity (probably the most cost effective).
      8. the could launch cameras with apps and do a profit share/commission on each one sold (works for Apple)
      9. reduce your costs
      10. increase your selling price/margin (difficult at the moment)

      I’m pretty sure that you realise Olympus wasn’t talking about reducing their debt within 24 hours.”

      • Yes, they can issue more shares. Obviously you don’t own Olympus shares or else you wouldn’t really want them to do this, as it dilutes current investors, and significantly if the numbers listed are correct (>25% at current prices).

        It appears that this tactic isn’t about reducing debt, though. It’s about keeping the current board of directors in place. How much you want to bet that any prearranged deal with Fuji/Sony/whoever to buy those shares has a “board retention” clause? And how much do you want to bet that the reason why Fuji/Sony/whoever would put up that much money for 25% of the company is that they hope to someday get the entire thing, and that the grateful board will let them?

        What we’re seeing is that the current Olympus board is fearful that more than 50% of their shares would vote against retaining their positions. A board which is implicated in one of the largest corporate scandals on record, I’ll remind you. And which the raid by investigators tells us is not over.

        Yes, we know you hate Woodford. You hate him so much that you’re willing to support people that committed or abetted outright fraud.

        I’m not sure either choice is the right one for Olympus to survive and prosper. But in order of preference, from least to most: the current board, Woodford returning, new management. Moreover, it’s clear that the Japanese companies need to have outside board members, lest we just get repeats of these behind-the-scenes shenanigans. The proposal Olympus made is just the opposite of that, and argues for more of the same.

        • @Thom Hogan
          most people on the street consider tax avoidance fraud but most share holders/investment bankers don’t.

          if Woodford was genuinely sincere in wanting to help Olympus I wouldn’t minding him have a seat on the board but not/never as CEO (if the employees and non American shareholders could stomach him) and with some of the present board remaining say about 1/3.

          non- Japanese share holders probably don’t make up 50% that’s just a scare tactic…

          • Depends upon how you avoid the tax ;~).

            You still seem to attribute something unspoken to Woodford, that he’d do something if he’s restored to CEO that he wouldn’t do as a board member. Care to name what you think that is?

            As long as any member of the current board stays, the problem is that you have someone who either participated in or sat by and voted what someone else told them to vote on issues surrounding the fraud. In short, you’re asking for a third of the board to consist of either fraudsters or yes men to fraudsters. If the bath water is dirty, you won’t get clean.

            As for the 50%, there’s no reason to move fast to dilute the shareholders unless the current board believes that over 50% of their current shareholders would vote them out. While the primary vocalization of that has come from Western shareholders, you’re discounting the possibility that there are some Japanese shareholders who’d go alone with what has been proposed from the outside. Tricky politics are going on. Amongst Olympus shareholders there are dozens of large holders with different interests at the moment. Indeed, one of the reasons why the board has to go is the danger that they’ll once again rubber stamp a made up solution.

            • @Thom Hogan and his shadow

              The shares are unlikely to be sold to one company and Olympus don’t look like there are in too much of a hurry either it’s just a possibility, someone else who might be interested in shares is Siemens of Germany.

              Olympus can buy back the shares at a later date.

              Look you can’t replace a whole board it just wouldn’t work in any scenario it would cause massive bad feeling amongst the employees.

              Anyways Woodford is just a pawn for American interests, hopefully he’ll realise before its too late….

              • You don’t hire four banks to vet the shares (and collect fees) unless you’re ready to do the deal. So saying they’re not in a hurry doesn’t square with facts: they’ve moved very quickly on this.

                > Woodford is just a pawn for American interests

                I see. So American interests are some sort of problem for you? You’d rather have Japanese interests that have hidden problems for decades. Interesting logic, that.

                I have no doubt that Woodford is now aligned with non-Japanese investors (and I don’t think it’s just American as you seem to). From a tactical standpoint, if he really thought he knew what was wrong and wanted a chance to correct that, he’d have no other choice. I still think you’re just upset that Woodford brought up this whole mess instead of letting it slide under the radar.

                • @Thom Hogan
                  banks don’t collect their fees until the deal is done.
                  “So saying they’re not in a hurry doesn’t square with facts:” they have said it’s an option.
                  “So American interests are some sort of problem for you?” in this particular case yes, if you look at the media agencies that are trying to crucify Olympus eg Reuters and Wall Street Journal as well as members on dpreview (with the except of one Scottish and one Swiss dpreview member)and on here as well as the investments funds who are all American . Co-incidence eh?

                  The fraud that was perpertated was made illegal in Japan in 2007 the act of fraud was commited in March 2008.

                  Woodford could have dealt with this whole situation from the inside instead of becoming a patsy who is getting played by American interests.

                  • Olympus actually said “…hired banks.” That means that they’ve entered a contractual relationship, which traditionally will pay fees whether or not a deal is done. Moreover, in the Japanese business press you’ll find the actual reason for the push: an upcoming board meeting at which dissident shareholders are likely to press for a vote on board members. So, yes, they’re in a hurry if they want to keep their seats on the board.

                    > Media agencies trying to crucify Olympus

                    Or perhaps just trying to report the news? ;~) It’s your fantasy (I almost wrote interpretation, but that’s too mild a word for your belief here) that Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and more have an agenda to overthrow the Olympus board and somehow wreak harm on the company. How exactly the ultra-conservative WSJ and the liberal-leaning NYT could have managed to agree on anything like that is beyond me, but it’s your fantasy, not mine.

                    The simple matter is that there have been multiple, interlocking news stories: (1) Woodford fired unexpectently; (2) Woodford revealing hidden accounting; (3) Olympus admitting hidden accounting; (4) investors selling Olympus stock (including Japanese investors, by the way); (5) remaining investors having differing opinions on what should happen next; (6) new investors sensing an opportunity and trying to replace current management. How that’s a the media trying to crucify Olympus, I don’t see. Now if you had just stuck to #6, we might have a debate. Yet even there, it’s a free world. They’ll succeed or they won’t; what we write or the media writes won’t change that.

                    > …all American. Co-incidence eh?

                    Turning Canadian, are you, eh? ;~)

                    Every time you write here on the boards you reveal another underlying bias. Now you’re anti-American for some reason. As for why two English Web sites might have Americans on them, yeah, that’s unexpected. If you actually look at camera sales, about 35% of them go to Americans. If you count the other English-speaking countries, you don’t get even 10% more sales. So the fact that a camera site that is in English has a predominance of Americans would seem to be a fairly natural conclusion.

                    > Fraud made illegal in 2007

                    It would have been illegal in both Europe and America, and you may have forgotten that the scandal is still being examined in those jurisdictions–Olympus isn’t out of the woods just because the Japanese decide to look the other way. That the Japanese were lax on such dealings is a problem they still need to face up to, both now and in the future.

                    Moreover, you seem to think that only “criminal fraud” is bad. “Civil fraud” seems to be okay in your world. An investor who was duped is still a victim of civil fraud, regardless of what the wording of Japanese criminal law is.

                    > Woodford could have dealt with this whole situation from the inside

                    You have a short memory. He did try just that. For quite some time. He was told to not uphold his fiduciary duties and look the other way. By the folk that perpetuated the problem (and many of whom are still on the board).

                    If we’re to believe Woodford, he wasn’t able to deal with this quietly inside the company. Thus, what you’ve written is essentially “Woodford is a liar.” You’re certainly entitled to believe what you wish, but try owning up to your real beliefs why don’t you and present some evidence that supports them. Instead, you perpetuate some convoluted conspiracy theory that involves US press, US banks, and Woodford.

                    • @Thom Hogan

                      1. the shares don’t have to be sold to a single party and also they could always buy back the shares at a later date.

                      2. Mostly Reuters (really sensationalise the story and throwing out wild speculation) is trying to crucify Olympus. Bloomberg, the FT, The New York times have generally been impartial.

                      3. “How do you reduce debt by Y246 billion with profits of Y69.3 billion? The only way I know how to do that is with asset sales.” so you were wrong eh?

                      4. “They’ll succeed or they won’t; what we write or the media writes won’t change that.” so why are you bothered then?

                      5.dpreview is owned by Amazon (american), 43rumors isn’t UK.
                      Every single negative thread opened on dpreview on the Olympus affair has been opened by an American.
                      What I would like to know is what has Olympus done so wrong to the USA?

                      6.Olympus didn’t break any laws until the period between some point in 2007 and March 2008 that is the fact at this moment in time.

                      7. erm you seem to think it’s OK for companies to avoid taxes, so touche.

                      Investment funds who buy shares are speculators and no fund puts all their money into one company.

                      8.”Woodford could have dealt with this whole situation from the inside” from me, “You have a short memory” from the honourable Thom Hogan.
                      Obviously I don’t have a short memory, what I was thinking is that he could of weighed up the situation more (I find it absolutely incredible that he hadn’t figured out what was going on when I could),replaced the board and brought in changes gradually instead of taking up his position and acting like a bull in a china shop.

                      9.”Instead, you perpetuate some convoluted conspiracy theory that involves US press, US banks, and Woodford.” erm 1 media agency (reuters), what banks? they are investment funds and no, I have suggested Woodford is being used …but that’s OK I accept your apology.

                    • Anonymous

                      I’m not going to continue to debate point by point with someone who uses deflection, non-sequitors, invented facts, and who now is accusing me (quite incorrectly) that I think that businesses shouldn’t pay taxes. Where you got that, I have no idea, because it’s 180 degrees wrong.

                      Your logic is there for everyone to inspect. You continue to seem to think everyone should just look the other way and let Olympus do whatever they have to do behind the scenes to bury their mistakes. Basically, your position is that “saving Olympus as it currently exists is worth more than anything else,” including following rules and living ethically. The problems, according to you, are Reuters, Woodford, American investors, and me, and not the fact that Olympus basically shortchanged their investors, lied, violated laws, and has a tainted board and management. Worse still, under your “solution,” basically no punishment would be dealt out to those involved.

              • shadow? who do mean

                Why do you have faith in present Olympus management to actually make an informed choice? This is the same bunch that managed to lose over 50% of the company’s value by rushing into something without knowing the consequences (firing Woodford is just one of many rush/rash decisions this fall).

                The only reason to do what they are considering is that the board wants to keep their seats. Is that good for the company? I would rather have a new board who have a plan for the future not more of the same reactionary saving their own ass. The present board has shown they are not geniouses by any means.

                I had planned to buy the olympus 45mm however I am now rethinking any plans to continue using my EP3. There are few things I really like about the system however there are more things that just drive me nuts (I would like to meet the moron who decided that it should take 3 different buttons to delete a picture I did not mean to take on camera. Nothing major just shows poor design decisions). Comparing pictures to my 3 year old other camera system I find that I am more disappionted than not. I would think that the quality should be equal or better. My 30 inch monitor makes it glaringly obvious. My daughter’s Canon S90 more than equals the EP3 for less than a third of the cost.

                Do I feel that the system will improve? I do not know. Without true leadership and vision of the Camera Division I do not see significant improvement of the product. If someone else buys into Olympus that will muddy the waters even more.

                If I feel I have been wronged by someone I will not ever step in their store or buy their product again. One electronics and one tool reatiler have lost my business of $5000 a year each by losing my trust. Olympus is on the fence right now however nothing they have done recently seems to me to have helped the situation. I think I am a person that Olympus would like to keep as a customer.

                Your comparison of Olympus to Nikon problems is like equating bank robbery to a traffic ticket. Love the logic.

                Peace Out Bro.

        • MichaelKJ

          According to a Business Week article:

          Tokyo Stock Exchange rules permit companies to issue new stock to a third party with a dilutive effect of as much as 25 percent without seeking shareholder approval.

          “Preferred shares are a bit better than common stock for investors as there’s no immediate dilution, even though they may be changed into common equity some day,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million in Tokyo at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. “Also, today’s report reassured investors that Olympus may get support from major Japanese firms and that this may improve its governance.”

          http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-20/olympus-gains-on-report-of-1-28-billion-preferred-stock-sale.html

          I agree that the long term effects may not be in Oly’s best interests, although that remains to be seen. It is also my understanding that preferred shares don’t have voting rights. If so, I wonder if there is still the possibility of a management shake up when shareholders vote on new management in March or April

          • True about the preferred stock in one sense. But let’s skip to the chase, there are only two reasons why the companies mentioned would want such stock, and both involve eventual profit or takeover.

            The problem I have with this talk is that it is once again completely opaque and would be voted on by a board that has already proven to be manipulable. Like the scandal itself, all this looks very non-transparent–a bunch of bowing, some carefully chosen words about governance, large sums of money changing hands. And by the way “improve its governance” is a lot different than “actually having governance.”

            No, as I wrote many moons ago, the deal would come from the back rooms. It has. Stage one is nearing completion. If you think that’s the last stage, then you don’t understand why a company might invest a billion dollars in partial ownership of a stricken company.

            • @Thom Hogan
              worse case scenario is if Reuters buy the shares ;~)

    • @Dummy00001
      the style of Reuters reporting on this matter is attracting many unfavourable comments at the FT (financial times)

  • Franky S

    The raid was telecast live on national television. Now there’s something you don’t see every day.

  • The “raid” was pre-planned theater to increase public confidence that something is being done.

    According to a New York Times article, two big Japanese banks with ties to current board members are putting together the proposed stock sale, and its real goal is to dilute the influence of foreign shareholders so they can’t press for further reform: “…foreign investors say that the reaction to the scandal is shaping up to confirm their worst fears about Japan Inc.: that entrenched executives — with the help of friendly bankers and staid institutional investors — will thwart any attempts at much-needed overhaul.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/business/global/prosecutors-in-japan-raid-olympuss-headquarters.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    • Nice catch.

    • And the banks will make a nice commission in selling those shares while protecting their interests, too. ;~)

      Really? Is anyone really arguing that this is the way it should go down? That the status quo is just fine and we can look the other way?

      • @Thom Hogan
        I think Olympus has learned their lesson and it won’t be happening again.

        “And the banks will make a nice commission in selling those shares while protecting their interests, too.” sound like a win/win situation. Happy days again :D :D :D

        • Happy days? Who do you think pays those fees? It’ll come out of Olympus’ hide, not Fujifilm or Sony or whoever actually won the back room battle. And how independent do you think they’ll be in their decisions with a new largest stockholder? A stockholder you had to take on to keep your board seat? Right. Happy days for someone, but not for Olympus customers or even Olympus employees would be my bet.

          Plus you think that Olympus “has learned their lesson.” Wow, I want you on the jury when I find a way to embezzle a billion dollars from somewhere. No punishment, no penalty, no complete revelation of what happened, no transparency, no change in policies, no nothing, plus I get to name my own commission to tell people what did happen. Oh, sure, a couple of higher ups took the sword and lost their jobs. But in your opinion that’s “learning their lesson.” I’m not convinced any lessons have been learned yet. And I’m not going to take it on faith that board members who went along with previous plans to save their butts aren’t just going along with some new plans to save their butts.

          • Fish

            +1

          • Raist3d

            +1000.

            • -1002.

              • Feeling a bit narcissistic are you? Basically this silly comment of yours is an attempt to say to everyone that your opinion is more important than EVERYONE elses’.

                And by the way, your math is off. By using -1002 you only bring everything back to zero (me, fish +1, Raist3d’s +1000 = 1002).

                • @I as bringing everything back to neutral because I’m nice like that, you should try it sometime….

                  • You have one thing right: your statements are the opposite of most of the rest of the posters.

                    What you don’t have right is that your statements carry the same weight as all the other posters.

                    As for your being nice, let’s see, you’re against Woodford, against Americans, against banks and investors (except Japanese ones), against the business press…the list is actually quite long.

                    • @Thom Hogan
                      I think you’ll find that ALL the posters carrying on in your vein are American Raist3d, MichaelJK, Fish, ckb and only visit 43rumors to bad mouth Olympus( with the exception of fish).

    • jake

      sadly though, it is exactly what have been happening around Olympus.

  • Otherwise, it seems that chances of Woodford coming back are slim:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/15/us-olympus-idUSTRE7BB04P20111215

    • jake

      we are so sad about it.

    • flash

      He should use his off time to learn to speak Japanese. I found it kind of odd that he does not know the language, as he was a long time employee of a Japanese company.

      I saw some nice pictures of the “raid” today, makes me kind of nostalgic about participating in those kind of things.

  • “Otherwise, it seems that chances of Woodford coming back are slim”…awhhh diddims!

  • Olympius

    Well, my thought was that Olympus would be delisted, which is still a very real possibility, and then the big Japanese banks would slice & dice the company to whomever seemed competent enough to handle what they were given: Sony, Fuji and Canon would all fit that bill nicely, but especially Fuji and Canon.

    However, it looks as if the big Japanese banks aren’t going to wait on Olympus being delisted, but are already working behind the scenes to keep them viable, and probably independent to a certain extent. The bad news is, they will most likely work with the current board to make this happen, and many on the current board will probably keep their seats after all. Only in Japan….

    I don’t know how much pull big banks like Mitsubishi have, but it seems like they have tremendous power, perhaps enough to make Olympus’ accounting problems and regulatory issues just go away. The “raid” on Olympus by Japanese regulators might be just so much Kabuki theater to make it look like the regulators are taking strong action, but the reality is that the big banks are going to control the fate of Olympus, perhaps with the willing help of the current board members. And I doubt the Japanese government or the Nikkei is going to get in the way of whatever back room deals are being hatched. More than likely, they will be intimately involved in these deals.

    If Olympus were an American or British company, the vultures would already be feasting on the dead carcass, but the old and strong links Olympus has to Japanese power brokers probably means they get to live and play another day, with minimal changes to their corporate structure.

    By all rights, they should be either bankrupt, or be broken up, with the more profitable pieces going to the likes of Fuji, Hoya, etc. I’m not sure the continuance of Olympus basically as-is is such a good thing, but that’s what it looks like.

    The Japanese simply are not going to allow non-Japanese to dictate what happens to one of their crowns jewels of medical technology. They will circle the wagons to protect Olympus and it’s Japanese heritage, if for no other reason than it’s Japanese. It may not be logical or just, but the Japanese have a logic of their own when it comes to matters like these.

    Still, this little nightmare is far from over, though we are beginning to get a glimpse of how it might end.

    – Olympius

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > Only in Japan…
      And what about all the misconduct in economical and political leaders in western countries going all the way to presidents?
      Corporation executives causing billions of damages and instead of gulag getting that golden handshake and giant pension while ordinary people pay damages…
      Bush&Co and their buddies… quite a few various top leaders in France… Italy being run for so long by criminal with longer list of crimes than mafioso.

      • Misconduct is misconduct. We should not simply tolerate it; it doesn’t matter where it happens, it needs to brought into clear visibility and those responsible held accountable.

        I suspect Olympius was trying to point out how opaquely the Japanese government/banks/businesses work on problems like this, though. One can still hope that the government will get involved in a meaningful and open way, but it’s clear that the banks/business have been making their backroom deals, as I predicted.

        • “Misconduct is misconduct.” I don’t hear you calling for Nikon’s blood nikonrumors.com/2011/12/15/more-bad-news-nikon-switzerland-fined-13-25-million-for-restricting-parallel-imports.aspx/

          “One can still hope that the government will get involved in a meaningful and open way, but it’s clear that the banks/business have been making their backroom deals, as I predicted.” are we talking about Bear Stearns, Lehman Bro.s Fannie Mae, Fannie Mac, Goldman Sachs and the Bush Administration here?

          • Raist3d

            I like how you use the “and you to” logical fallacy. Of course you can’t even see how this affects the company and its products anyway. You sure seem that blind that you can’t even tell what accounting is about.

          • > I don’t hear you calling for Nikon’s blood

            That’s because you can’t read. Or don’t care to read what I’ve written about Nikon’s terrible or likely illegal gray market program (or anything else I’ve criticized about them, including the way they penalize their own software customers). I haven’t changed a word about my objection to Nikon’s gray market position. And I’ve written about that over and over for almost 20 years now (I started with some of the first Internet newsgroups).

            Deflection is a tactic of someone who can’t support their argument. You should run for political office; you’ve got that tactic down pat.

            > Are we talking about…

            No. You know what we’re talking about, and as I just noted, your feeble attempt at debating a point is to deflect it to some other topic.

            • @Thom Hogan
              “Misconduct is misconduct.” is your argument and in my understanding of English means you are arguing that everyone should be treated the same, meaning you should sensationalise THE SAME and call for the SAME amount of blood.

              “Deflection is a tactic of someone who can’t support their argument.” that’s why YOU THOM HOGAN compared the Olympus affair to ENRON!!!

              Politics you are the one with selective memory and retorts.

              • ckb

                I equated Enron with Olympus because of the same criminal accounting sham behind both corporate disasters. At least get the source from Texas that got ripped off by Enron right. There is difference between outright covert criminal action and actual company public policy that is not aligned to a countries trade laws.

                Your argument blows. Try again. At least put effort into it.

                Have a Merry Christmas dude.

              • By your logic, murder and failing to stop at a stop sign should be both dealt with by the same punishment.

                I compared Olympus to Enron for a reason: they both moved huge money-losing investments off the books without revealing it to shareholders. Same crime, basically. And that wasn’t deflection, that was comparison. Your implied suggestion that Nikon’s trade law violations are the same as Olympus’ is more than deflection, it’s illogical in almost any context of the Olympus problem.

                Olympus — hid what they were doing
                Enron — hid what they were doing
                Nikon — had open, publicly stated policies

                Olympus — billions of investor dollars lost
                Enron — billions of investor dollars lost
                Nikon — millions of dollars in customer service avoided

                Olympus — scandal at board level
                Enron — scandal at highest management levels
                Nikon — scandal at subsidiary

                Olympus — not punished for what they did
                Enron — punished for what they did
                Nikon — punished for what they did

                • @Thom Hogan
                  “Misconduct is misconduct.” is your argument, it is me suggesting a sense or proportion not you towards Olympus and I’m not the one going on like everyone else in the world is whiter than white.

                  Enron involved 63.5 billion to Olympus 1.3 billion

                  • ckb

                    I am elated by your witty retort. When my daughter was 5 she made better arguements than this. That was 15 years ago.

                  • Fish

                    “going on like everyone else in the world is whiter than white”??

                    This might be a strawman fallacy or putting words in someone’s mouth, but it is definitely: “Drama Queen”.

                    @ Thom Hogan,
                    Please continue to post here as I find your comments very helpful in understanding some of the nuances of what is going on in this situation.

                    On behalf of Olympus fanboys I would also like to apologize for youdidnt’s rantings. He won’t believe the fact that I have never owned a Canon or Nikon camera in my life or that I have been using Olympus bodies and Zuiko lenses since OM. Or that I have owned the E-500, E-510, E-P1, E-PL2, and (for two days now) the E-PM1. He has accused me before of being a Nikon Fanboy and similarily discounts anyone who doesn’t share his Ostrich Strategy to problem solving.

                    But I have no problem admiting that: yes, Olympus makes great products, and yes, this financial scandal is ugly and wrong and needs to be dealt with. For some reason youdidnt seems to think that if you admit one of those points you cannot admit the other…

          • ckb

            Love it. We are now equating Olympus to George W.

        • Ross

          If the Japanese whaling can continue under a farcical scientific guise with the rest of the world not being able to stop them, then I’m sure the same can happen with Olympus if that is their approach.

        • Olympius

          @Thom — I thought the maybe this time, the Japanese would step up and get serious with Olympus in regards to their fantasy accounting methods, rather than fall back on the “good old boy” network to sweep this other the rug. Because this particular scandal was, from the outset, an international incident involving the UK and the USA, let alone certain interests in the Cayman Islands, I though for sure the Japanese government would act boldly and swiftly, along with the Nikkei.

          But it seems that you are correct, back room deals will be made, and Olympus will come away from this a bit humbler, but without any serious backlash.

          The restating of five years worth of financial reports is grounds enough to get them delisted….how do allow any company to get away with something as fraudulent as that?

          Oh well. Perhaps the only punishment they are going to get is if people stop buying their products…

          Samsung is making some really interesting camera and lenses now-a-days….certainly worth a serious look….as is Panasonic…. :-)

          – Olympius

    • jake

      extremely well said , I think Japan is after all still a closed country.

      shame on you Japs.

      • jake

        Oly should be broken up into many parts or just go bankrupt.
        Oly is a group of criminals and most of current members of the board should be arrested.

  • ihateidiots

    In all likelihood, Olympus will be absorbed by some Japanese company, and life continues as before.

    No Japanese company will be owned by a foreign company, and anyone suggesting even Samsung are severely underestimating how insular the Japanese are, much less the xenophobia.

    • ckb

      Nissan is essentially owned by Renualt. All key management report to Renualt.

  • john

    I would think most people are like me , I own an E-5 and collection of Olympus lens , When they upgrade the E-5 I’ll be the first to buy. This other stuff is just business. The U.S.A. is 18 trillion in dept mostly to doing business as Olympus has , I’m not moving.

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