By staff writers

December 15, 2011 -- Japanese industrial giant Fujifilm has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire compact-ultrasound developer SonoSite for approximately $995 million.

Fuji, the parent company of Fujifilm Medical Systems USA, is offering $54 per share of common stock, approximately $12 per share, or 28%, above SonoSite's closing price of $42.24 on December 14 and 75% above the closing price on November 2, when the first news reports surfaced about a possible acquisition.

Once the acquisition is complete, SonoSite would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji, continuing its operations in Bothell, WA. SonoSite's current management also would remain in place. Both companies' boards of directors already have approved the transaction unanimously.

SonoSite's products are designed for applications such as emergency medicine, surgery, critical care, internal medicine, musculoskeletal, and vascular access procedures, as well as traditional applications including radiology, cardiology, vascular medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.

In its most recent financial report (end-September 30), SonoSite posted nine-month revenues of $219.5 million, up 18% compared with $186.1 million in the same period of 2010. Net income slipped to $635,000, compared with net income of $4.2 million in the first nine months of 2010.

In a written statement, Shigetaka Komori, president and CEO of Fuji, said the transaction would accelerate Fuji's entry into the hand-carried ultrasound equipment market and positions ultrasound as a "strategic pillar for the future growth of our medical systems business."

The deal would also allow SonoSite to advance its international business and product development efforts, said Kevin Goodwin, SonoSite's president and CEO, and drive further growth in existing ultrasound markets, as new markets for ultrasound visualization emerge at the point of care.

Copyright © 2011

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