* Olympus announces fourth lawsuit brought by investors
* Compensation bill relating to 2011 accounting scandal set
* Trust banks seek to sue Olympus before three-year deadline
(Adds other cases, context, shares)
By Sophie Knight
TOKYO, April 9 Olympus Corp on
Wednesday said six Japanese trust banks have filed a lawsuit
against the endoscope maker seeking 27.9 billion yen ($273
million) for damages relating to a $1.7 billion accounting
scandal in 2011.
The six banks, which include State Street Trust and Banking
Co Ltd, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp and
The Nomura Trust and Banking Co Ltd, are seeking compensation
for false financial statements submitted by Olympus in the 11
years to 2011.
Damages from the scandal continue to weigh on Olympus, with
the announcement marking the fifth lawsuit it has publicly
recognised. The company says that nearly 20 cases have been
submitted to courts seeking a total of 85.6 billion yen.
Olympus at its last earnings briefing said it would set
aside 17 billion yen ($166.49 million) to settle three of the
cases it has publicly recognised, which sought a total of 44
billion yen and were brought by overseas investors and medical
equipment maker Terumo Corp.
The other two claims, including the one announced on
Thursday, are seeking a total of 41.1 billion yen.
The six Japanese banks acted to meet a three-year deadline
for submitting cases against Olympus since the scandal was
uncovered, said a public relations officer at Mitsubishi UFJ
Trust and Banking Corp. An exact cut-off date has not been
decided by the court.
The five other trust banks had no immediate comment.
The six are seeking damages on behalf of investors whose
funds they held, according to a representative at one who
declined to be named.
Olympus saw its shares and profit dive in 2011 after former
Chief Executive Michael Woodford alerted prosecutors and the
media to a series of payments designed to cover up investment
The medical equipment maker wrote down the value of several
deals made over a decade, including its $2 billion purchase of
U.K. firm Gyrus in 2008. Olympus also paid the world's largest
advisory fee, equivalent to one-third of the purchase price, in
Three former Olympus executives, including former chairman
Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, were found guilty by a Japanese court in July
2013. They were handed suspended jail sentences while the
company was fined 700 million yen ($7 million) for violating
Since then the company has swung back to profit, with Sony
Corp paying 50 billion yen ($500 million) to become its
biggest shareholder last year, when it also raised $1.2 billion
in a share issue.
Olympus's shares have also recovered from a trough of 424
yen it scraped in 2011, after they lost around 80 percent of
their value. On Thursday its shares were off 1.2 percent at
3,020 yen, slightly outperforming the benchmark index
which was down 1.9 percent in afternoon trade.
($1 = 102.1100 Japanese Yen)
(Additional reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Edmund Klamann
and Christopher Cushing)