Samsung Electronics is taking steps to sell off a unit of its Medical Device Division.
According to industry sources on September 19, Samsung Electronics held an employee briefing session presided over by Jeon Dong-soo, head of the Medical Device Division and president of Samsung Medison, on the planned sell-off of its in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) business unit.
Samsung is talking with Nipro, a pharmaceutical and medical device maker in Japan, on the sale of the business unit
The two sides have already reached an agreement on the handover of all IVD unit employees that total over 100. "Samsung Electronics proposed that Nipro take over all of its employees and Nipro accepted it,” an industry source close to the matter said.
Samsung Electronics' Medical Device Division produces IVDs, X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scanners, and magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs). Samsung Medison, a separate corporation, has expertise in the field of ultrasound diagnostic equipment.
An IVD is a medical device that diagnoses diseases and examines patients' health with tissues, blood, and urine collected from human bodies.
The possible sell-off method is to spin off the business unit before sale as was the case with the sale of the printing business unit to HP last year.
Samsung is expected to sell the rest of its medical device business by the first half of next year. The company has been contacting Philips to sell off the ultrasonic business unit and a Chinese company to sell off the X-ray business unit. Samsung Electronics' Medical Device Division has about 800 employees.
"Currently, we will sell the IVD business unit only and there is no plan to sell the rest of our diagnostic imaging equipment business," Samsung said with respect to the possible sell-off of other medical business units. “The company will honor its policy to focus on synergies and competitiveness in the field of imaging diagnostic devices."
In the meantime, Nipro posted about 3.6 trillion won in sales last year and sales of its medical device business amounted to 2.62 trillion won. The company ranks second in the global hemodialyzer market and is No. 1 in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry.