March 12, 2012
TOKYO, JAPAN/CHELMSFORD, MA—Asahi Kasei Corporation and ZOLL Medical Corporation jointly announced that Asahi Kasei, Japan's leading diversified chemical manufacturer with businesses in the health care, chemicals & fibers, homes & construction materials, and electronics sectors, has entered into a definitive merger agreement with ZOLL, a manufacturer of resuscitation and critical care devices and related software solutions, pursuant to which Asahi Kasei will acquire ZOLL for approximately $2.21 billion. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
Moving forward, Asahi Kasei plans strategic investments to accelerate the realization of ZOLL's mission of leading the world in resuscitation technologies, and to build on the ZOLL platform to achieve Asahi Kasei's long-term strategic objective of creating a globally competitive health care business with a clear and unique focus on the field of critical care. Asahi Kasei has identified health care as a key strategic sector that will power a new phase of growth for the group, and believes that the acquisition represents a significant milestone in fulfilling its core vision for the health care sector: improving patient quality of life through the creation of innovative technologies and devices for critical care.
The acquisition extends the development of Asahi Kasei's "Health Care for Tomorrow" project, under which the company seeks to advance the development of new businesses through organic growth, targeted acquisitions, and strategic alliances. A key focus area of this effort is the resuscitation sector, an area where ZOLL is already a market leader in the U.S. and has a strong international market presence. This transaction builds on the alliance between the two companies that was announced in July 2011, under which Asahi Kasei has exclusive rights to market and distribute ZOLL's AED PLUS™ automated external defibrillator (AED) in Japan—the first AED in Japan with a function supporting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that incorporates voice guidance and message displays.
ZOLL's comprehensive set of technologies helps clinicians, emergency medical technicians, and fire professionals treat victims needing resuscitation and critical care. ZOLL develops products for defibrillation and monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, fluid resuscitation, and therapeutic temperature management. Its innovative product lines, which include LifeVest™, the world's only wearable automatic defibrillator; temperature management technologies for managing the core body temperature of critically ill or surgical patients; and AutoPulse™, a revolutionary non-invasive cardiac support pump, represent significant potential drivers of growth for the company.
Commenting on the transaction, President & Representative Director of Asahi Kasei, Taketsugu Fujiwara, said, "We are very excited to be joining forces with ZOLL, with whom we have enjoyed a productive partnership over the past nine months. In the medical devices business, the U.S. market leads the world, not only in size and scope, but also in technological innovation, so establishing a strong infrastructure in the U.S. is an important step for Asahi Kasei. This transaction will allow us to build on ZOLL's strong U.S. business position and its technology leadership, with ZOLL forming the cornerstone of our critical care business. Together we will pursue new opportunities in the high-growth markets of Asia. We look forward to working with the management and all the employees of ZOLL to develop a critical care business renowned worldwide for its ability to turn technological advances into sophisticated medical tools that save lives and deliver invaluable improvements in the quality of life of patients and their families."