March 21, 2012 / 7:28 AM / 7 years ago

Olympus foreign shareholders renew call for "independent" chairman

A staff member is silhouetted on a projector screen displaying a logo of Olympus Corp before a news conference in Tokyo February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

TOKYO (Reuters) - A group of foreign shareholders in scandal-hit Olympus Corp, including Southeastern Asset Management and Indus Capital, on Wednesday blasted the company’s choice of chairman and renewed their call for someone more independent.

The statement came after Olympus last month nominated a former banker from Olympus’ main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp as chairman, raising ire among foreign shareholders who want a board free from the influence of the company’s creditors.

“The proposed Chairman’s and certain other proposed board members’ close connection with Olympus’ main banks gives rise to a potential conflict of interest,” the shareholders said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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