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Fujifilm to complete Hitachi imaging acquisition by end of March

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 19, 2021
Artificial Intelligence Business Affairs CT Health IT MRI Ultrasound X-Ray
Hitachi will split its diagnostics imaging business off as a separate company that will be absorbed by Fujifilm
FUJIFILM Corporation has signed an agreement to acquire Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business in an absorption-type company split deal.

"By combining Fujifilm and Hitachi's diagnostic imaging businesses, we will be able to provide a more comprehensive healthcare solution that includes CT, MRI, diagnostic imaging, enterprise imaging, endoscopy, endosurgery, ultrasound, and in-vitro diagnostics. This will dramatically enhance our ability to achieve our goal of delivering solutions across prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to healthcare institutions," Henry Izawa, vice president of modality solutions and clinical affairs at FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA, told HCB News.

Hitachi will split off its imaging business as a separate company that will be absorbed by FUJIFILM Healthcare, which Hitachi established to act as the successor. The transfer is expected to be completed by March 31, 2021.

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The deal adds a large range of CTs, X-rays, ultrasound and MR systems to FUJIFILM’s portfolio, and expands its medical business. It also will introduce a new portfolio that includes endoscopic ultrasound PACS, and is expected to put the company on equal footing with global medical imaging players such as Siemens, General Electric and Philips. In addition, Fujifilm’s advanced image processing technologies and AI solutions will be used alongside the products acquired to enhance quality of care and create new values that will be delivered globally through extensive sales networks.

The new company is expected to develop new solutions that include minimally invasive treatments using hybrid diagnostics, while Fujifilm and Hitachi can utilize the channels of both companies to maximize sales opportunities of the new company.

For Hitachi, the company split is seen as an opportunity to broaden its healthcare business into group-wide efforts focused on its digital technologies. Following completion of the acquisition, the company plans to accelerate global rollout of its particle therapy treatment systems, strengthen its in vitro diagnostic systems business for early detection of diseases, and expand its cell manufacturing solutions that deploy its expertise in regenerative medicine. It also will continue offering high-value-added services in IT, including medical and nursing data linkage platforms and new services leveraging AI and analytics.

Fujifilm and Hitachi were reported to be in talks about the acquisition, in December 2019, for a price of more than $1.55 billion. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, put a hold on moving forward with the acquisition, which at that point had risen in price to $1.63 billion.

"We believe there will be synergies from the complementary product portfolio, image processing technology and AI," Ryuhei Tanaka, of the public relations department in the corporate brand and communications division of Hitachi, told HCB News. "Fujifilm has a long history of business and expertise in medical IT solution including PACS and 3D workstations. It is expected that through the integration of Hitachi's diagnostic imaging business with Fujifilm, the development of new value-added solutions with AI and medical IT will be accelerated. The diagnostic imaging business portfolio of Fujifilm and Hitachi is complementary, and it will enable the new company to offer valuable solutions to hospitals as a 'comprehensive healthcare company.'"

FUJIFILM Healthcare Corporation will issue 99 common stocks when the deal closes, all of which will be allocated to Hitachi. The transfer is not expected to affect stock acquisition rights issued by Hitachi or its capitalization.

The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and no financial details were disclosed.

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