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[TOKYO] Canon Inc is the leading contender to win the bidding for Toshiba Corp's medical unit with an offer exceeding 700 billion yen (S$8.59 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
The offer puts it ahead of rival bids from Fujifilm Holdings Corp and grouping of Konica Minolta Inc and Permira Holdings Ltd, according the report. Toshiba is to consider all three proposals at a board meeting Wednesday, it said. Toshiba said in a statement that it is not the source of the report and that it will hold a board meeting.
Toshiba is selling assets to help pay for the fallout of the biggest accounting scandal in its 140-year history that prompted writedowns and departure of executives. President Masashi Muromachi is selling the medical unit, cutting jobs and considering a reorganization of its PC and TV operations as the company forecast a record loss for the fiscal year ending March 31.
Toshiba Medical Systems, Japan's largest medical equipment company, makes diagnostic imaging systems such as MRI, X-ray and ultrasound equipment.
The health care division, which includes medical equipment and other businesses that Toshiba doesn't plan to sell, had sales of 409.5 billion yen in the 12 months ended March 2015 and operating income of 23.9 billion yen, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Shares of Toshiba fell 3.7 per cent to 200.7 yen as of 9:03 am in Tokyo on Wednesday. The stock had dropped 17 per cent this year before today, after losing half of its value in 2015.