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The 10 biggest merger and acquisition stories of 2020

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | December 30, 2020
Business Affairs

Fujifilm acquisition of Hitachi diagnostic imaging business delayed by COVID-19

Not all deals were spurred by the pandemic, Fujifilm’s planned $1.63 billion acquisition of Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business was put on hold in June as COVID-19 continued to spread.

The Japanese healthcare giants, which began discussing the deal back in December, had previously hoped to complete the acquisition some time in July.

"Due to the spread of COVID-19 globally, preparations for regulatory laws related to matters and clearance for anti-monopoly have been delayed," Dave Wilson, director of communications for Hitachi Healthcare Americas, told HCB News. "Government offices, legal offices and others impacted by lock downs and stay at home measures have slowed these activities,"

The decision to sell stemmed from a desire to grow the competitiveness of Hitachi's diagnostic imaging business and subsequently, its healthcare operations. Fujifilm was seen as a viable buyer due to its expertise in AI and IT, as well as its expansion in the fields of prevention and diagnosis, according to Wilson.

When the deal does go through, it's expected to boost Fujifilm’s position in the global medical imaging market, which is dominated by GE, Siemens and Philips with a combined share of 65%, reported the Nikkei Asian Review in December. The Hitachi division holds a 5.5% stake and is predicted to bring Fujifilm, which holds 2.9%, close to Canon, which holds the number four spot in the sector.

The deal would transfer Hitachi’s portfolio of CT, MR and ultrasound technology to Fujifilm.

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