Bausch & Lomb eyes $4.5B

Randall C Willis
STORY UPDATE
ROCHESTER, N.Y.—September 21, 2007—At a special meeting, Bausch & Lomb announced its shareholders approved its proposed merger with affiliates of Warburg Pincus LLC. At closing, each outstanding share of common and Class B Bausch stock were cancelled and converted into the right to receive $65 in cash, without interest, less any applicable withholding taxes.
 
 
ROCHESTER, NY—Eye care specialist Bausch & Lomb announced it had entered into a $4.5 billion definitive merger agreement with private equity firm Warburg Pincus that includes $830 million in debt. Under the terms of the deal, Warburg will pick up all outstanding shares of Bausch & Lomb for $65 per share, a 26% premium over pre-sale rumor levels.
 
"As a private company, Bausch & Lomb will have greater flexibility to focus on our long-term strategic direction to be a global leader in providing innovative and technologically advanced eye health products to eye care professionals and consumers," says Ronald Zarrella, Bausch & Lomb chair and CEO. The company's Board unanimously approved the deal and recommends shareholders do the same.
 
The move comes as the global market for eye care is booming. A 2006 report by Kalorama Information suggests the market could reach $13 billion as early as 2008.
 
"The alarming increase in loss of vision worldwide is creating a race to develop and exploit cutting-edge technologies—diagnostics, imaging, therapeutics, and devices—that will address the threat of serious eye disease," said Kalorama Publisher Steven Heffner at the time, adding prophetically, "The discovery of technology that may revolutionize the market over the next several years has already triggered a trend to reorganize business strategies that will result in significant consolidations, partnerships, licensing and marketing agreements."

Randall C Willis

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