Fujifilm (TSE:4901) announced today that it plans to buy Hitachi’s (NYSE:HIT) medical imaging business for about $1.56 billion. The boards of both companies are scheduled to vote on the acquisition today.
The deal could improve Fujifilm’s ability to compete globally against medical imaging giants GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE), Philips (NYSE:PHG), Siemens (NYSE:SI) and Canon (NYSE:CAJ). GE, Siemens and Philips each have more than 20% shares of the global radiology device market, with Canon holding a 9.5% share, according to a report by Nikkei. The Hitachi’s medical business acquisition would place Fujifilm close to Canon with a 8.4% share, the report said.
Hitachi will form a new company and Fujifilm will acquire all the outstanding shares of that company, with closing slated for July 2o20.
Hitachi launched its imaging business in 1953, when it debuted its first X-ray system. Its diagnostic imaging systems currently include CT, MRI X-ray and ultrasound — a stable revenue base with potential for growth, according to Fujifilm, which offers medical IT, in-vitro diagnostics and endoscopy. Fujifilm also said it will use its image processing and artificial intelligence technologies to provide new imaging solutions to hospitals and clinics, such as AI-supported diagnostics and maintenance.
Hitachi won FDA 510(k) clearance for its real-time image gating system designed for use with its proton beam therapy systems last year. Today’s move is part of a reorganization at Hitachi, which has been shedding non-core assets and purchasing other companies to broaden its digital business, according to a report by Reuters.
“Fujifilm will further expand the business in the global market through cross-selling, utilizing the extensive sales channels of both companies,” the company said in a news release. “Fujifilm will continue to develop and provide a wide range of products and services that can meet the needs in clinical settings, contributing to even more efficient medical diagnosis and high quality medical care, leading to the maintenance and improvement of people’s health.”
($1 = 108.6400 yen)