* Deal values Sonosite at $54/shr cash
* Deal offers 28 pct premium
* Sonosite shares up 27 pct to lifetime high
Dec 15 Japan's Fujifilm Holdings
will buy U.S.-based medical equipment maker SonoSite Inc
for about $753 million, as it beefs up its lifescience
business to meet the growing demand from an ageing population in
Japan and the United States.
Fujifilm has been forming partnerships within the country
and outside, to strengthen its healthcare and biopharmaceutical
business, as demand for its mainstay photo film paper business
weakens amid increasing use of digital cameras.
Last month, the company said it will set up a joint venture
with Kyowa Hakko Kirin to develop biopharmaceuticals,
mainly those with expired patents.
Fujifilm also has a joint venture with India's Dr Reddy's
Laboratories that will develop generic drugs for the
Japanese market -- the world's second-largest after U.S.
Under the terms of the deal with Sonosite, FujiFilm, will
pay $54 a share in cash, a 28 percent premium to Wednesday close
on Nasdaq. Including debt, the deal was valued at $995 million.
Fujifilm, which competes with the scandal-riddled Olympus
Corp, said the SonoSite deal has the backing of the
boards of both the companies.
After the completion of the deal, SonoSite, which makes
ultrasound and cardiograph equipment, will become a unit of
Fujifilm, and will continue operations in Bothell, Washington.
Last month, a source told Reuters that SonoSite was holding
an auction to sell itself and that it had hired JPMorgan to run
Shares of Sonosite leaped 27 percent to a lifetime high of
$53.58 on early Thursday morning trade on Nasdaq. Fujifilm
closed at 1,841 yen in Tokyo on Thursday.