Olympus probe widens to take in ill-fated deal for $780m ITX

AS attention in the Olympus accounting scandal turns to whether funds used to cover up losses were funnelled to criminal groups, scrutiny is set to increase on deals not yet in the spotlight, including a $780m (£493m) investment in technology firm ITX.

Olympus and affiliated firms have spent $4.1bn on 57 acquisitions since 2000 in a bid to diversify operations and grow outside Japan. The largest was its $2.2bn buyout of British medical equipment firm Gyrus in 2008.

To date the scandal has centred on a $687m advisory fee tied to the Gyrus deal and its purchase of three obscure, loss-making domestic firms for $773m between 2006 and 2008.

But the spotlight is likely to fall on ITX now too. Olympus has written off a third of its investment in the firm and still carries ¥23bn (£190m) in ITX-related goodwill on its books.