Olympus denies camera division shake-up threat (update 10.10am)
November 29, 2011
Plans announced by Olympus to review its future ‘focus’ do not mean it is considering selling off its camera division, according to an official for the scandal-hit firm.
Olympus said today it has set up a ?Business Reconstruction Team? that will ?lay designs to rebuild the company in ways that will provide clarity of investment choices and focus?.
The move comes in the wake of the massive financial scandal that is the subject of multiple international investigations.
In a statement, published on the firm?s Tokyo-based website, Olympus president Shuichi Takayama announced ?immediate? plans to ?reform company management (make-up of the team and decision-making processes) in a way that will be acceptable to stakeholders and that represents the best possible way to drive the company toward its business vision?.
Earlier today news agency Reuters reported that Olympus?s rivals in the camera market are ?closely watching events unfold? amid speculation that Olympus may have to sell assets to survive the crisis.
Asked whether the firm will consider selling off its camera business as part of its reconstruction plans Olympus spokesperson Ayako Nagami told Amateur Photographer (AP): ?The company is going to provide clarity on ?investment? choices and focus.
?It [the statement] is not talking about the actual business of the company.?
Takayama said the team must identify ?optimum business structures that generate requisite profitability in order to realize further and steady development of the business?.
Olympus has also set up a ?Corporate Governance Team? ahead of the publication of its third-party probe into the losses cover-up, expected in early December.
Investigations will focus on how acquisition-related payments were used by Olympus to cover up losses on investments over two decades.
Nagami added: ?The Working Teams have just been established and will start discussions after receiving the investigations results from the Third Party Committee.?
Today, ousted CEO Michael Woodford is expected to meet the FBI in New York, to help US officials with their ongoing investigations.
In an interview with AP earlier this month Woodford indicated that he would retain the camera side of Olympus if he were reinstated as head of the firm by shareholders.