KKR Likely Purchaser of Panasonic's Health Unit

Qmed Staff

September 6, 2013

1 Min Read
KKR Likely Purchaser of Panasonic's Health Unit

KKR, a private equity giant, is the leading bidder for Panasonic's medical device segment. If KKR is able to push through the acquisition, it will own a majority stake in the company. In total, the sale could carry a price tag as high as $1.5 billion.

Over the past few weeks, Panasonic has narrowed down the list of potential bidders. According to media sources, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has won favor with the company and will have preferential negotiating rights. Some rival bidders include the Development Bank of Japan, Mitsui & Co. LTD, Bain Capital and Toshiba.

While KKR is in the lead, there is still some uncertainty surrounding the deal. Panasonic's healthcare division manufactures electronic medical record systems, ultrasound devices, blood glucose monitors and a variety of other healthcare products. In total, outstanding shares for its healthcare division are worth about $1.5 billion. However, Panasonic has not yet disclosed how much of its healthcare division will be sold.

Regardless of the outcome, Panasonic faces a number of issues in both its domestic and international markets. Its consumer electronics business has been undercut by pricing pressures from Chinese manufacturers. In contrast to other electronics manufacturers like Olympus and Sony, this ailing giant no longer has the world of medical devices in its sight.

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