The German health imaging and medical devices giant, Siemens Healthineers, is to buy cancer device and software specialist Varian Medical Systems for $16.4 billion (£12.5bn).

Siemens spun off (of corporate action where a company “splits off” a section as a separate business) Siemens Healthineers in 2018 but retains an 85% stake in the business.

Varian is the market leader in the field of cancer care, including radiation oncology, the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis.

If the deal is approved by Varian’s shareholders, Healthineers will acquire the leader in radiation therapy with a market share of over 50%.

“With this takeover, we are significantly strengthening our position – in addition to cardiology and neurology – in the field of oncology,” chief financial officer, Jochen Schmit, told Reuters in an interview.

Healthineers highlighted a long-term rise in the incidence of cancer – from 14 million cases worldwide in 2010 to a forecast 25 million in 2030, representing a $20 billion a year market.

The German medical technology company offered $177.5 a share for the Palo Alto, California-based Varian.

The deal is the largest in the health sector this year and follows the announcement that Civica has bought health software specialist InfoFlex.