Zoll Medical launches Japan division

Zoll Medical ($ZOLL) is expanding into Japan with a new subsidiary expected to beef up sales of the company's external defibrillators, monitoring equipment and other medical devices.

Zoll's Japan operations will be called Asahi Kasei Zoll Medical Corp. The first name comes from Japanese mega-conglomerate Asahi Kasei Group, which snatched up Chelmsford, MA-based Zoll earlier this year for $2.2 billion. Zoll Japan will be based in Tokyo, and its division president, Seiji Sakano, will report directly to Zoll CEO Richard Packer, the company said. (To add to the layers at play here, Zoll itself is a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Asahi Kasei.)

Asahi Kasei has operations in everything from chemicals and fibers to construction, electronic, health care business, pharmaceutical, diagnostic reagents and nutritional products. But its acquisition of Zoll reflects a goal to expand its medical device presence, particularly in the resuscitation segment (defibrillators, etc.). Zoll mentioned as much, explaining in the subsidiary announcement that the Asahi Kasei will help it accelerate the expansion of its sales beyond U.S. and Europe, with a particular focus on Japan and markets elsewhere in Asia.

Now that the subsidiary is in place, Zoll said it is working to boost its Japanese business by gaining regulatory approval there for products it currently sells in the U.S. and Europe, and also boost its sales capacity. One Zoll product is already sold in Japan--the AED Plus automated external defibrillator, which Asahi Kasei subsidiary Admis has sold there since August 2011.

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