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Olympus chairman stepping down amid scrutiny
Olympus chairman stepping down amid deepening questions over acquisitions
By The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) ' Olympus Corp. said Wednesday thta Chairman and President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa is stepping down amid widening scrutiny into past acquisitions after the company's British ex-CEO presented allegations of potential financial wrongdoing.

The Japanese camera and medical device maker recently fired Chief Executive Michael Woodford after he questioned a $687 million payment to financial advisers as part of Olympus' purchase of the U.K.'s Gyrus Group Plc.

The payment represented more than a third of the $2 billion purchase. Fees for advisers are normally 1 to 2 percent of the deal value.

Olympus said it will elaborate on the reasons for Kikukawa's resignation at a 5:30 p.m. press conference at a Tokyo hotel.

Shuichi Takayama will become the company's president, the company said in a release.

Last week, the company said it would establish an independent task force to review past acquisitions, seeking to ease mounting shareholder pressure.

Shares in Olympus have lost half their value since Woodford was dismissed on Oct. 14.

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