Tokyo, Japan / Bothell, WA, U.S. – December 15, 2011 – FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (TSE: 4901, hereinafter: Fujifilm), a diversified technology company that operates in healthcare, highly functional materials, and document solutions, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with SonoSite, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO, hereinafter: SonoSite), a pioneer and leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound technology, pursuant to which Fujifilm will acquire SonoSite for approximately $995 million (which includes amounts payable in connection with its convertible debt). The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

Fujifilm, through a U.S. subsidiary, will make an all-cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of SonoSite common stock for $54 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of 50.0% over SonoSite’s average closing stock price over the three months ended December 14, 2011, and a 75.4% premium over the closing price on November 2, 2011, the last trading day before news reports relating to a possible sale transaction were first published. The tender offer is scheduled to commence within 20 business days and will remain open for 21 U.S. business days. The transaction is conditioned on the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of SonoSite and remains subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and necessary foreign jurisdictions. Following the completion of the tender offer, Fujifilm intends to acquire the remaining outstanding shares of SonoSite common stock through a second-step merger.

SonoSite’s Board of Directors will recommend that SonoSite’s shareholders tender their shares to Fujifilm pursuant to the offer. Upon completion of the acquisition, SonoSite will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujifilm, and will continue operations in Bothell, WA. SonoSite will continue to be managed by its current leadership team, who will play a key role in driving the group’s future growth in the medical equipment sector, a key strategic pillar of Fujifilm.

SonoSite, a world leader in point-of-care ultrasound products (POCU), specializes in the development of ultra portable and robust devices that are used in more than 20 clinical specialties. The company also recently expanded into the pre-clinical research market with its newly acquired ultra-high frequency micro-ultrasound technology. SonoSite’s systems ultimately improve healthcare delivery and efficiency by enabling physicians to deliver safer and less expensive care in hospitals and beyond.

SonoSite’s products are designed for applications where ultrasound has not typically been used, such as emergency medicine, surgery, critical care, internal medicine, musculoskeletal, and vascular access procedures, as well as for imaging in traditional applications, such as radiology, cardiology, vascular medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.

This transaction will bring together the complementary strengths of Fujifilm’s high-quality imaging technologies and SonoSite’s pioneering point-of-care expertise and miniaturization capabilities, amplifying the business’ leadership within the growing POCU sector. In particular, the combined entity will be well-positioned to:

  • Develop and produce industry-leading and price-competitive products for both point-of-care and traditional diagnostic markets, utilizing Fujifilm and SonoSite’s innovative manufacturing technologies.
  • Drive the geographic expansion of POCU devices by deploying a worldwide sales infrastructure and distribution channels on a reciprocal basis.
  • Accelerate the development and commercialization of next generation compact, easy-to-use and high-quality medical imaging devices resulting from the combination of Fujifilm’s proprietary imaging and laser technology and SonoSite’s advanced ASIC technology, cutting edge high-frequency ultrasound and transducer technology and its photoacoustic imaging technology.

Leveraging their existing and future product portfolio Fujifilm and SonoSite will be able to capture the significant growth opportunities arising from new application areas in point-of-care ultrasound diagnosis and treatment.

Commenting on the transaction, President and CEO of Fujifilm, Shigetaka Komori said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with SonoSite. This transaction significantly accelerates Fujifilm’s full-scale entry into the fast-growing hand-carried ultrasound equipment market and will position ultrasonography as a strategic pillar for the future growth of our medical systems business. Beginning with the sales of X-ray films in 1936, Fujifilm gradually developed its business in the medical field. Since the release of the world’s first FCR digital x-ray diagnostic imaging system in 1983, the company has continuously pursued one central goal: providing easy-to-interpret, high-quality images at the medical frontline. We are confident that, together with SonoSite, we will further enhance our technological expertise to develop medical imaging devices that contribute to the improvement of medical diagnostics and care quality for patients worldwide.”

SonoSite’s President and CEO, Kevin Goodwin, said, “We are pleased that this transaction gives our shareholders the opportunity to realize full value for their SonoSite shares. We are also very excited to be partnering with Fujifilm as it will enable us to significantly accelerate our international business and product development efforts, and respond to the fast-evolving needs of physicians around the world. We believe that the performance, size, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness of our products will drive further growth in existing ultrasound markets, and are opening new markets as they bring ultrasound visualization out of the imaging lab and to the point-of-care, whether at the patient’s bedside or the physician’s examination table.”

Fujifilm has successfully transformed its business structure for growth by expanding from traditional photographic film to other priority business fields. Positioning the medical systems and life sciences business as one of its key growth areas, Fujifilm is seeking to cover “prevention, diagnosis, and treatment” comprehensively as a total healthcare company.

Barclays Capital is acting as financial advisor to Fujifilm and Shearman & Sterling LLP is acting as legal counsel. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and GCA Savvian Advisors, LLC are acting as exclusive financial advisors to SonoSite and Fenwick & West LLP is acting as legal counsel.