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Executive Spotlights

Bain Capital to Buy Olympus Science-Optics Unit for $3.1 Billion

New York City, NY, August 29, 2022 (Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital agreed to buy Olympus Corp.’s scientific instruments business for 428 billion yen ($3.1 billion), as the Japanese medical devices company further shifts its focus to health-care.

Olympus expects to transfer the unit on Jan. 4 and book the gain from the sale in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, the company said in a statement Monday. The Nikkei newspaper first reported the likely deal last week.

The sale is a part of Olympus Chief Executive Officer Yasuo Takeuchi’s plan to pivot the company in the direction of health-care, with the goal of becoming the world’s leading maker of endoscopes. The unit being bought by Bain Capital, called Evident, reported an operating profit of 18 billion yen from sales of 119 billion yen for the year ended March 31.

Evident was vied over by other private equity firms including Carlyle Group Inc. and Polaris Capital Group Co. in the first round of an auction that closed May 9, Nikkei reported without identifying its sources.

Founded a century ago, Olympus made its name as one of Japan’s leading camera and endoscope manufacturers, It gained notoriety in 2011 when newly appointed British-national CEO Michael Woodford was fired for exposing accounting irregularities, triggering a major corporate scandal that dragged on for years.

Now, with the camera industry decimated by smartphones and only a few niche players remaining, Olympus is betting on medical devices and its share of 70% of the global gastrointestinal endoscope market for a new driver of growth.

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