Bausch + Lomb to acquire ISTA Pharmaceuticals

April 1, 2012

Bausch + Lomb has signed an agreement to acquire ISTA Pharmaceuticals for about $500 million, the companies jointly announced March 26.

Madison, NJ and Irvine, CA-Bausch + Lomb (B+L) has signed an agreement to acquire ISTA Pharmaceuticals for about $500 million, the companies jointly announced March 26. ISTA is the third largest branded prescription eye-care business in the United States, with an expanding focus on allergy treatments.

A complementary union

ISTA's ophthalmic product portfolio includes the NSAID Bromday (bromfenac 0.09%); Bepreve (bepotastine besilate 1.5%) for allergy related ocular irritation; Isatol (timolol 0.5%); and Vit-rase (hyaluronidase) injection. Its product pipeline contains additional therapies for dry eye, ocular inflammation and pain, and nasal allergies, according to the joint announcement.

"ISTA is an excellent strategic fit with [B +L's] rapidly growing pharmaceutical business, and this combination represents an important step in [B+L's] commitment to becoming the best global eye-health company," said Brent Saun-ders, president and CEO, B+L.

A 'natural extension'

Saunders said that B+L already manufactures almost all of ISTA's current U.S. portfolio. "With this combination, we will significantly enhance our pharmaceutical pipeline, nearly doubling the number of mid- to late-stage innovations."

Vicente Anido Jr., PhD, president and CEO of ISTA, said the acquisition is "a natural extension" of B +L's pharmaceutical focus. "Together, we create an impressive platform to commercialize new eye-care and allergy products already under development," he said.

Share price soars

The purchase price of $9.10 a share reflects an 8% premium over the stock price of $8.38 at the close of business on the date of the announcement, and a 40% premium over the Va-leant Pharmaceuticals bid for ISTA, according to the joint announcement. The share price also is 134% higher than the share price on Dec. 15,2011, the day before ISTA announced the Valeant bid.

B+L said it would finance the acquisition with a combination of cash and a $350 million short-term loan from a consortium of banks. Both companies' boards have approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter, according to the announcement.