Fujifilm, after losing bid for Toshiba medical unit, queries timing

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The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind trees at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind trees at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2015.

Reuters/Yuya Shino

Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp (4901.T), which lost out to Canon Inc (7751.T) in the race to be picked as preferred bidder for conglomerate Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) medical unit, questioned Toshiba on Wednesday on the timing of the planned sale.

In a letter to the conglomerate, Fujifilm cited media reports saying profits from the sale would contribute to Toshiba’s finances in the fiscal year through March, and questioned whether the deal would close in time for that. Fujifilm disclosed the contents of the letter to the media.

The move is a rare challenge by a failed bidder in Japan. Fujifilm demanded a reply to the letter by 0600 GMT on Thursday. Toshiba declined on Wednesday to comment on the letter, including whether it will respond to it.

Fujifilm said regulatory approvals normally took at least a month to process based on anti-monopoly laws, meaning any sale of the unit, called Toshiba Medical, was unlikely to conclude by the end of March.

“The United States, Europe, China and others have M&A regulations similar to Japan’s anti-monopoly laws… We would like to know Toshiba’s understanding on this question, and whether it has arranged special measures for this,” the letter said.

Toshiba last week granted Canon exclusive negotiating rights to buy unlisted Toshiba Medical after a hotly contested auction. One source with knowledge of the talks put Canon’s offer at more than $6 billion, which would help bolster Toshiba’s capital in the wake of last year’s accounting scandal.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)