In further evidence of Canon’s commitment to the security industry, the company is making a bid to purchase Axis AB, the iconic manufacturer of IP video cameras, in a deal that could be worth $US2.8bn.
Canon is offering shareholders 340 Swedish crowns per share, which is approximately 50% higher than the closing price of the shares on Monday night of 226.90 crowns.
There are 69.46m issued shares of Axis AB. Martin Gren, a co-founder and member of the board of directors of the company, owns 10.3% of them. Another board member with a substantial holding is Gustaf Brandberg who owns 14.5% of the shares. A further 14.4% are owned by Terese Karlsson. The shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.
The three largest shareholders have recommended the offer to the rest of the shareholders subject to certain conditions.
The offer for Axis by Canon follows the company’s purchase of Milestone Systems in mid-2014. Acquisition of Milestone by Canon sends shockwaves through surveillance industry
In a statement, Canon’s Chairman Fujio Mitarai said: “In recent years, the video surveillance system market has continued to realize rapid growth. Canon views its network surveillance camera business as a promising new business area and positions the business as a driving force for future growth within the Canon Group. Canon would be pleased to welcome Axis, the global leader in the network video solutions industry, into the Canon Group.”
After completion of the offer, Canon foresees the following advantages to the acquisition:
- Strong technology synergies – the combination of its optical and imaging technologies with Axis’s network image processing technology plus Canon’s R&D resources will boost Axis’s competitiveness.
- Intellectual property – Canon and Axis each own intellectual property in different technology fields. Combined, it will allow the introduction of innovative solutions and services to the security market.
- Distribution and service network – Axis has a worldwide network of 75,000 business partners including system integrators which Canon will be able to add to its distribution and service network for its camera products and business equipment.
Canon said that following the completion of the deal, it will retain Axis’s current management team together with its offices, development centres and sales offices. It will also retain the Axis brand and operate as a separate legal entity within the Canon Group.
Estimated launch date for the offer is early March 2015, or as soon as the offer document can be approved by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Nasdaq Stockholm.