Woodford set for showdown at Olympus HQ

OLYMPUS investors are hopeful that former boss Michael Woodford could return to lead a clean-up of the Japanese company after he agreed to return to its headquarters for the first time since he was axed.

Woodford is set to attend a board meeting on Friday, although it remains to be seen whether he will meet the executive who presided over his sacking. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned as chairman over the payments scandal last month but remains a director.

Yesterday Woodford said: “I was invited to the board meeting on Friday by Olympus and welcome the opportunity of going to Japan.”

Woodford has been cast by two major foreign shareholders as the best man to lead a clean-up of the camera and medical firm, which has lost nearly two-thirds of its market value since he revealed his concerns.

Goldman Sachs is now the second-largest shareholder in Olympus, a public filing showed yesterday. The bank has a 6.67 per cent stake but said it was acting as a market-maker only. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group holds 7.61 per cent of shares.