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Japan's Asahi Kasei Buying Zoll Medical

Japanese chemical manufacturer has agreed to buy Zoll Medical Corp, which makes defibrillators and other critical care medical devices, for about $2.2 billion.

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (AP) -- Japanese chemical manufacturer Asahi Kasei Corp. has agreed to buy Zoll Medical Corp, a Massachusetts-based maker of defibrillators and other critical care medical devices, for about $2.2 billion.

Under the deal announced Monday, Asahi is offering $93 per share for each Zoll share, a 23.8 percent premium over Zoll's closing price of $75.10 on Friday.

Zoll shares jumped $17.66, or 23.5 percent, to $92.75 in morning trading.

Asahi Kasei is a major Japanese chemical manufacturer with a variety of businesses including health care, construction materials and electronics.

The company said Zoll will help it expand its health care business, an area that Asahi has identified as a key sector of growth. Zoll's leading position in resuscitation technologies was particularly attractive, Asahi said.

Taketsugu Fujiwara, Asahi Kasei president and representative director, said Zoll will form the cornerstone of Asahi's critical care business.

"Together we will pursue new opportunities in the high-growth markets of Asia," Fujiwara said in a statement.

The plan is that after the deal is completed, Zoll will become a subsidiary of Asahi's global operation while maintaining its current management team, business units and operations.

A tender offer, which has been approved by boards of directors for both companies, is expected to begin within 10 business days. It must win approval by regulators and two-thirds of Zoll Medical's outstanding shares.

The deal is expected to close before the end of June, the companies said.

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