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Canon, Fujifilm among possible buyers of medical unit

TOKYO -- Toshiba has selected two coalitions of companies, which include domestic players such as Canon, Konica Minolta and Fujifilm Holdings, as potential buyers of its medical equipment unit, it was learned Friday.

     The first coalition consists of Canon, Konica Minolta and U.K.-based investment fund Permira. The second consists of Fujifilm, Mitsui & Co. and U.S.-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Both coalitions were notified by Friday that they had passed the first round of bidding in January.

     Companies had offered a higher price for the medical unit than the several hundred billion yen figure reported by the media, Toshiba Chief Executive Masashi Muromachi said in a Thursday news conference. Some say the bids may have topped 500 billion yen ($4.27 billion).

     Toshiba Medical Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba. The parent company began the bidding process in mid-January. It received 10 offers during the first round, including from several investment funds. Sony and Hitachi had also considered placing bids but decided against it.

     Toshiba announced Thursday that it expects its net loss to expand to 710 billion yen in fiscal 2015, while its capital ratio will likely fall to 2.6%. It plans to hold the second round of bidding by the end of the month and select the final buyer by the end of March, in hopes of aiding its declining financial position.

(Nikkei)

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