Culpable execs must be sued, Olympus is told

City A.M. Reporter
A JAPANESE shareholder in Japan’s Olympus has asked the camera-to-medical-equipment maker to sue 21 former and current executives if it finds they violated their duties in connection with acquisition deals at the centre of a governance scandal.

In a letter the shareholder asked the company’s auditors to seek repayment of 139.42bn yen (£1.13bn) plus interest from the executives if it concludes that they failed to meet their responsibilities. Olympus said its auditors would study the letter, which it received on Wednesday, and consider its response.

Meanwhile the use of accounting tricks to hide big losses has raised questions about whether its auditors, the Japanese arms of global giants KPMG and Ernst & Young, should have done more to pick up on warning signs.

The Japanese maker of cameras and medical equipment shocked investors on Tuesday, admitting it had used payments to merger advisors and venture capital funds to cover up securities losses dating back decades.