Fujifilm, Canon front-runners in race to acquire Toshiba's medical business.
The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind trees at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2015.Reuters

Several technology companies and investment firms have been battling for over three months for the Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC). And, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and Canon Inc. have the best chance of acquiring Toshiba Corp.'s medical-device business, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

TMSC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba, had announced in December last year that they were inviting outside investment in the business (based on the Toshiba Revitalisation Action Plan) to acquire sufficient funds for TMSC's future growth. "TMSC has been conducting many R&D investments, but for the future growth and innovation of technology and products, it is important to continue making further investments, including M&As," it said in the release.

In a statement posted on the company website earlier this year, TMSC president and CEO Toshio Takiguchi had spoken about the company's decision to seek outside majority shareholders. "The business environment of the healthcare industry is changing rapidly, with many technological innovations and significant expansion in new business areas. To keep up with these changes, we will execute our businesses plans in a timely manner to realise our management slogan, 'Made for Life'," he said.

Toshiba anticipated that it could bring in about ¥700 billion ($6 billion) through the sale, which will help shore up the electronics maker's finances, especially after an accounting scandal last year, the report stated. It also said that the second round of bidding closes Friday and Toshiba will likely select one bidder as early as next week to enter exclusive talks.

TMSC had actively been bulking up its portfolio of imaging solutions and expanding its marketing base before the announcement was made. In October 2015, TMSC had acquired Olea Medical to integrate its post-processing software with Toshiba subsidiary Vital Image's Vitrea software for improved collaboration in imaging workflows.

Toshiba had reported that the net sales in the healthcare systems and services segment increased by ¥1.8 billion to ¥412.5 billion in its 2015 Annual Report. It also said that "a significant portion of the net sales in the healthcare systems and services business is attributable to medical businesses."

TMSC is a leading worldwide provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions and has been providing medical products for over 80 years.