Olympus moves past scandal in first public bond sale since 1996


Olympus Corp.’s first sale of bonds to the public in more than two decades met strong investor demand, according to underwriters, in a sign that the Japanese company has overcome the market fallout from its 2011 accounting scandal.

Investors’ orders for the notes came to 2.7 times the 10 billion yen ($90 million) on offer last week, according to the underwriters. The company also enticed investors with a slightly higher yield than similar offerings in recent weeks.

Olympus’s share price has nearly tripled since the end of 2011, when the medical equipment maker restated five years of past earnings after admitting to a 13-year cover-up of investment losses. The company’s rating was raised to A- from BBB+ last year by Rating & Investment Information Inc., which cited reduced concern about its legal outlook abroad and the improvement of its financial health.

The bonds due in 2022 with an A- rating from R&I had a 0.22 percent coupon. That’s higher than JA Mitsui Leasing Ltd.’s similar-maturity 0.2 percent debt sold this month, with the same rating from R&I, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

Olympus’s debt-to-equity ratio has improved to about 0.7 time in the year ended March 31 from 13.5 times in the year ended March 2012.

Company spokesman Shinichiro Murakami said the firm is trying to diversify its fundraising methods so it can stably secure cash for working capital and investment. Funds from the latest bond sale will be used to pay for loans due by the end of the month, he said.

The company sold bonds via private placement from 2004 to 2008, Bloomberg-compiled data show. The last time it issued notes to the public was in 1996.