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Olympus preparing to sell new shares

Monday, Dec 19, 2011 - 01:28

Dec. 20 - Olympus is preparing to issue about $1.3 billion in new shares to help replenish its depleted finances, with local media naming Sony and Fujifilm likely buyers. Arnold Gay reports.

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Olympus is preparing to issue about $1.3 billion in new shares to help replenish its depleted finances. Local media name Sony and Fujifilm as likely buyers, with Panasonic considering making an investment as well. The Nikkei says Germany's Siemens may consider taking up the offer too, due to possible synergies in the medical field. Olympus controls 70 percent of the medical endoscope market. The firm says no decisions on capital raising had been made. Olympus is believed to be considering issuing preferred shares that would not carry voting rights, but they would eventually be convertible into common stock. Such a move is likely to heighten concerns of share dilution. On Monday (Dec 19), a top foreign shareholder warned any move by Olympus to bring in a friendly shareholder would sink efforts to reinstate former CEO Michael Woodford. It added it would also be seen as a last-ditch attempt by existing directors to hold on to power. The Olympus board aims to hold an EGM in March or April to install a new management team, but Woodford has called for swifter action. Olympus stock traded up over 16 percent, reversing four straight days of declines. Analysts say some investors see the potential offering increasing the value of the firm, by adding to net assets and its financial health. Arnold Gay, Reuters.

Olympus preparing to sell new shares

Monday, Dec 19, 2011 - 01:28

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