Fujifilm to Acquire SonoSite (SONO, GE)

Paul Ausick

Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp. has agreed to acquire medical equipment maker SonoSite Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO) for $995 million, including debt. The offer is $54/share, a premium of about 28% over SonoSite’s closing price yesterday. More than 14 million shares of SonoSite have traded today, compared with a daily average of just over 200,000.

Fujifilm hopes to use SonoSite’s 37% market share in portable ultrasound equipment eventually to surpass the GE Healthcare unit of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) as the world’s leading maker of ultrasound devices. Other medical equipment makers include Philips Healthcare and Siemens Healthcare.

SonoSite is the world’s leading maker of bedside and point-of-care  ultrasound equipment, and is a solid addition to Fujifilm’s stable of products as the Japanese company seeks to diversity out of its struggling film and camera businesses.

SonoSite shares are trading today at $53.55, after posting a new 52-week high of $53.58. The previous high was $44.00.