June 5, 2012 / 1:12 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Olympus could raise $640 mln via share allotment-media

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TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) - Japan's scandal-tainted Olympus Corp is considering raising about 50 billion yen ($640 million) through a third-party share allotment, the Sankei Shimbun reported on Tuesday.

The maker of medical equipment and cameras is struggling to recover from a $1.7 billion accounting fraud which left it with a paper-thin equity ratio of 4.6 percent of total assets, as of end-March, after it corrected years of misleading accounts.

The Sankei report follows an earlier report by the Nikkei business daily that the company could issue about $1.28 billion (100 billion yen) in new shares to bolster its finances, with Japanese high-tech stalwarts Sony and Fujifilm seen as possible buyers.

Olympus said in a statement on Tuesday that the Sankei report was not based on an announcement from the firm.

Olympus President Hiroyuki Sasa said last month the company would consider all options to boost capital, including equity tie-ups and third-party share allocations.

The company is expected to hold a business strategy briefing on Friday.

Olympus had been concealing investment losses for 13 years before suspicions of fraud surfaced last October, when the firm's then British chief executive, Michael Woodford, blew the whistle on some unusual bookkeeping. It was later revealed that a small group of executives had been running the scheme to hide losses. ($1 = 78.2800 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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