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Olympus to pay 11 bln yen to resolve lawsuits over accounting

March 30 (Reuters) – Olympus Corp said on Friday it has agreed to pay as much as 11 billion yen ($92 million) to resolve two civil lawsuits arising from a 2011 accounting scandal at the maker of cameras and medical imaging equipment.

The settlements resolve claims raised in Tokyo District Court by 86 entities, including foreign institutional investors and pension funds, that sought to recoup 37.7 billion yen ($316 million) in damages, the Tokyo-based company said.

Olympus said it had been defending against the claims, but decided that “swiftly resolving this matter through settlement” was best to avoid further litigation and related legal costs. It said it previously set aside 11 billion yen for the settlements.

In 2011, Olympus admitted in a $1.7 billion accounting scandal to having concealed investment losses dating to the 1990s, and using a series of overpriced acquisitions, some of which it quickly wrote down, to cover up losses.

The problems were exposed by former Chief Executive Michael Woodford, a Briton who was fired after he questioned Olympus’s accounting. Olympus later restated five years of results.

In 2013, Olympus agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle U.S. litigation over its accounting and disclosures by investors who bought its American depositary receipts. A federal judge in Allentown, Pennsylvania, approved that settlement last May.

($1=119.1 yen)

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