Mitarai has been leading efforts to find higher-growth businesses to complement Canon’s imaging expertise, and help the Japanese company expand beyond a camera market under attack from smartphones sporting competitive image-capturing capabilities.
Canon’s offer for Axis represented a premium of nearly 50 percent to the stock price before the announcement, a price some analysts said was high enough to ward off rival bids.
“If you buy a cheap company, you need to spend on drastic restructuring,” Mitarai told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “I only buy good companies, even if they’re expensive.”
Canon, which earned over 80 percent of revenue overseas in 2014, said it would pay for its biggest purchase ever in cash. It held 845 billion yen ($7.05 billion) in cash and cash equivalents at the end of December.