Canon Inc. plans to buy Toshiba Corporation's medical equipment unit for USD 5.9 billion. Toshiba, which is selling the unit to help fund restructuring after a massive accounting scandal, said the deal would yield a profit of about USD 5.9 billion in the current fiscal year ending this month, if it closes in time.

The Japanese maker of cameras and office equipment won exclusive negotiating rights to buy Toshiba Medical Corp. in a contested auction. Canon, which makes X-ray machines and eye examination devices, has been trying for years to expand into high-margin medical devices, particularly as demand for cameras has declined with the advent of smartphones.

The company possesses proprietary high-speed dynamic X-ray imaging sensor technology, among other imaging devices, along with associated elemental technologies; photoacoustic tomography technology selected by Japan's national ImPACT program; medical robotic system technologies, and minimally invasive technologies. Through the promotion of joint technology development leveraging these Canon technologies and Toshiba's R&D capabilities, the Group will be able to globally provide innovative new products and services in the future.

Toshiba chief executive Masashi Muromachi is trying to overhaul the laptops-to-nuclear conglomerate following last year's revelations of overstated profits going back to around 2009. Funds from the deal will help enable Toshiba to drop plans to seek about USD 1.8 billion in additional loans from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Mizuho Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

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