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Olympus sells microscope unit for $3.1 billion to Bain Capital

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 31, 2022
Business Affairs Endoscopy Parts And Service
Olympus Corp has sold its microscope unit to Bain Capital for $3.1 billion.
Olympus Corp will sell its microscope unit, Evident, to private equity firm Bain Capital for $3.1 billion (¥427.6 billion).

The sale will be the company’s biggest divestment to date, and Evident is expected to be transferred to Bain on January 4, 2023, upon meeting antitrust regulatory approvals in Japan and abroad.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Olympus, Evident makes microscopes, endoscopes and X-ray analyzers for the life science and industrial sectors, including for academic and clinical research areas, pathology diagnostic services, drug discovery and fertility treatment.

Olympus is currently in the process of dismantling its business portfolio, so that it can focus solely on medical technology.

“On the basis of our long-term expertise, we will expand our digital technologies, including cloud-based solutions, to enhance the customer experience and to improve the overall workflow in several research and inspection fields. With greater management autonomy, we will promote agile and open innovation, which will increase the speed of product development for solving our customers' challenges,” said Yoshitake Saito, president and representative director of Evident, in a statement.

Despite being a profitable segment for the company, Olympus spun off the unit in April 2022 for a potential sale. Its assets were over $1.1 billion (¥165 billion), as of the end of June, and its forecasting operating profit is over $191.5 million (¥26.5 billion) for the current financial year.

Since 2019, the company has been reorganizing itself and nearly tripled its shares. It has appointed activist investor ValueAct Capital to assist with the overhaul of its business division and sold its digital camera business, which has been losing money for a long time.

It also has bought several overseas medical equipment firms. In June 2021, it acquired Medi-Tate, an Israeli manufacturer of urological technology, for $260 million, expanding its stake in the market of in-office treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

It announced back in December that it would focus more on chronic diseases that require gastrointestinal, urological and respiratory care solutions.

It is investing more in next-generation technologies for enhancing patient care pathways, including improving its endoscopy line and introducing better workflow management technologies.

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