Fujifilm to buy two biotech units from JXTG for $800 million

Fujifilm Holdings' logos are pictured ahead of its news conference in Tokyo, Japan January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Fujifilm Holdings said it would buy two biotechnology units of Japan’s JXTG Holdings Inc for about $800 million, as it looks to boost its healthcare business.

Fujifilm is seeking growth through buying businesses involved in regenerative medicine and pharmaceuticals, while it plans to gain scale in the existing photocopier business through its planned $6.1 billion acquisition of Xerox Corp.

Past deals include the purchase of Cellular Dynamics International Inc, a U.S. biotechnology firm.

Fujifilm said it plans to complete by June the acquisition of all the shares in JXTG’s two cell culturing units, California-based Irvine Scientific Sales Co and IS Japan Co.

CEO Shigetaka Komori also said he was confident Fujifilm would overcome opposition to the Xerox deal - which has come under pressure with Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, activist shareholders who own a total of more than 10 percent of the U.S. firm, urging fellow shareholders to oppose the merger.

“We’ve been telling Xerox shareholders how the deal would benefit them,” he said on Thursday.

Icahn and Deason have criticized the deal as dramatically undervaluing Xerox, but Komori stressed Fujifilm had no plan to change its offer ahead of the upcoming Xerox shareholders meeting.

Fujifilm agreed in January to take over Xerox, combining the U.S. company into its existing joint venture to gain scale and cut costs amid declining demand for office printing.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Kim Coghill and Himani Sarkar