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Japan’s Asahi Kasei Corp. has announced plans to buy U.S. medical equipment maker Zoll Medical Corp. (NASDAQ:ZOLL) in a $2.21 billion deal. Asahi will buy Zoll shares for $93 each, a 24 percent premium on Zoll’s closing price on Friday, the two companies said in a joint statement. The deal, which will help Asahi build a globally competitive healthcare business while helping to reduce its reliance on its chemicals and fibers operations, is the company’s biggest acquisition by far.
Asahi Kasei derives more than half of its sales from chemicals and fibers businesses, and almost a third from homes and construction materials, which altogether generate close to 90 percent of the company’s operating income. Healthcare currently makes up just 7 percent of sales and 8 percent of operating income, but the company has identified the sector as a growth area.
Zoll makes resuscitation and critical care devices, and derives a fifth of its revenue from a wearable defibrillator. Zoll will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, with management, units, and operations all remaining intact. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, the companies said. Asahi Kasei will finance the deal with loans.
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