News Tech: HONG KONG, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Japan’s Olympus Corp (7733.T) is close to selling its microscope unit to a private equity firm in a deal that could fetch more than 300 billion yen ($2.2 billion), three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Carlyle Group (CG.O) and KKR & Co (KKR.N) also submitted binding bids this month for the unit which makes microscopes, industrial endoscopes and x-ray analysers, said three of the people with direct knowledge.
Bain Capital has emerged as the frontrunner, said one of the people and a separate person with direct knowledge of the deal.
Olympus has been restructuring in recent years with the aim of focusing solely on medical technology and if this sale is successful, it would be the company’s biggest divestment to date, according to Refinitiv data.
Evident had total assets worth 143.3 billion yen by end of March and has forecast operating profit of 26.5 billion yen for the current financial year.
As part of its overhaul, Olympus has invited activist investor ValueAct Capital onto its board, bought several overseas medical-equipment firms and sold its digital camera business that had been a long-time money-loser. (This story corrects the profit estimate in eighth paragraph)
RegisterReporting by Kane Wu in Hong Kong and Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Editing by Edwina Gibbs Source: Reuters Trust Principles.