News Article

Fujifilm to acquire diagnostic imaging business from Hitachi

Fujifilm Holdings has agreed to purchase the diagnostic imaging device company from Hitachi.

The purchase, which is estimated to cost the Japanese imaging company approximately 170 billion yen (USD 1.55 billion), intends to give Fujifilm the capacity to compete with the big three global players: Siemens of Germany, General Electric from the U.S. and Philips the Dutch manufacturer.

Fujifilm has beefed up its medical equipment business, notably endoscopy and X-ray imagery. Now it is turning its focus to Hitachi’s advanced CT scanners, MRI devices and ultrasound machines.

Both Fujifilm and Hitachi expect to hold board meetings and vote Wednesday on the proposed contract.

The big three medical imaging companies control 65 per cent of the global market share, according to U.K. market researcher Evaluate. Fujifilm agreed to purchase Toshiba Medical Systems in 2016 but was edged out by Japanese competitor Canon, who won the exclusive right to pursue a buyout and finished the acquisition with success.

Fujifilm holds a 5.5 per cent share of the worldwide diagnostic imaging industry as of last year. Buying the diagnostic imaging operations from Hitachi, which are estimated to account for another 2.9 per cent of the market, would put Fujifilm close to Canon’s 9.5 per cent share.

The cultivation of overseas markets is a crucial concern for the Japanese medical imaging device manufacturers. Most of Japan’s hospitals now have CT scanners and MRI machines.

Fujifilm announced on December 5th that it would turn the company into a wholly-owned subsidiary, buying a 25 per cent stake in Fuji Xerox held by Xerox of the U.S.Most of Japan’s hospitals now have CT scanners and MRI machines. It has also announced plans to create a new diagnostic imaging tool that integrates Fujifilm’s image processing technologies with Fuji Xerox’s language processing capability.

Hitachi is evaluating its business portfolio to refocus on development areas. The company started to consider selling the business with the healthcare division generating an operating margin of just 2.4 per cent for the year ended March.

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