Ex-Olympus Chief Will Not Go Down Without A Fight

TOKYO, Dec. 13 (Kyodo) — Former Olympus Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Woodford will visit Japan on Tuesday evening to meet investors as he plans to fight a proxy battle to return as president of the scandal-hit company.

During his visit through Friday, Woodford also plans to attend a panel meeting on Wednesday of members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to discuss corporate governance, the DPJ said. He also plans to hold a news conference.

This will be his second visit to Japan since he was dismissed from his posts on Oct. 14 after pointing out Olympus's dubious acquisitions of companies including British medical equipment maker Gyrus Group Plc in the latter half of the 2000s.

Olympus, a maker of camera and other optical equipment as well as IC recorders, later admitted the acquisitions were used to cover up its investment losses dating back to the 1990s, while a third-party panel set up by the company lambasted the management by describing it as "rotten."

Woodford, who had remained a member of the Olympus board after being dismissed from the posts, resigned as a director earlier this month, saying he will fight a proxy battle to return as president of the company.

In his last visit to Japan in late November, Woodford met with Japanese investigative authorities, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, over the coverup.

Olympus has announced it plans to submit its earnings report for the April to September period as well as corrected earnings for the past five years by Wednesday, the deadline stipulated by law for the company to remain listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Even if the company manages to submit the financial statements by the deadline, it still faces the risk of delisting as the Tokyo bourse can dump it if the content of revised reports is deemed to have a significant impact on the market.