Fujifilm to buy Hitachi's diagnostic imaging-related business for around $1.6 billion

Fujifilm agreed to acquire Hitachi's diagnostic imaging-related business for approximately JPY 179 billion ($1.6 billion) to further expand its healthcare segment, the companies announced Wednesday. The transaction, which is expected to close in July 2020, comes as Fujifilm seeks to position its healthcare unit as one of its "important pillars of growth."

According to Fujifilm, it has been actively investing in its healthcare business, with segments encompassing prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In August, Fujifilm bought a biologics manufacturing site from Biogen for around $890 million, while last year it purchased life sciences companies Irvine Scientific and IS Japan.

Fujifilm noted that the medical systems business, covering the diagnosis field, is currently leading the overall healthcare business, adding that it is developing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that have the potential to support diagnostic imaging workflows under the REiLI brand. The company said that the addition of Hitachi's diagnostic imaging systems business will enable it to provide a "one-stop total solution that includes CT, MRI diagnostics imaging, medical IT, in-vitro diagnostics and endoscopy."

Hitachi's business "not only serves as a stable revenue base, but also shows potential for further growth," Fujifilm noted. Fujifilm added that applying its image processing and AI technologies to Hitachi's products will further expand its medical systems unit, while the deal will boost the business in the global market through "cross-selling, utilising the extensive sales channels of both companies."

In December, Fujifilm took full control of Fuji Zerox after purchasing the 25% stake held by Xerox and revealed plans to develop a new diagnostic imaging product that combines its image processing technology with language processing capabilities developed by Fuji Xerox. Fujifilm estimates that sales in its healthcare division will be JPY 520 billion ($4.7 billion) for the year through March 2020, rising to JPY 1 trillion ($9.1 billion) by the mid-2020s.

Meanwhile, Hitachi said Wednesday that following the sale of its diagnostic imaging-related business, which generated sales of JPY 143.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 2019, it will accelerate the global rollout of its particle therapy treatment systems, strengthen its in-vitro diagnostic segment and expand its cell manufacturing solutions.

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