Valeant abandons effort to acquire ISTA

Nearly two weeks after upping the ante by offering an extra dollar per share for the eye drug company, Valeant withdraws its hostile takeover bid a day early

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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario—The morning of Jan. 30 saw Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. announce that it has withdrawn its offer to acquireISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $7.50 per share in cash—a transaction that would have carried a total equity value of approximately $360 million.
Valeant had previously announced that the offer would remain open until Jan. 31, 2012, but withdrew the offer a day early "due to lack of progress."
"Aswe stated last December, we were not interested in participating in alengthy evaluation process and we are disappointed that the ISTA teamwas not willing to fully explore our proposal by Jan. 31," stated J. Michael Pearson,chairman and CEO of Valent. "We continue to be disciplinedon our M&A strategy and we are actively working on otheropportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders. Wewish the ISTA team well in their future endeavors."
Irvine, Calif.-based ISTA notes in its own official statement that it is talking multiple parties "that have expressed an interest in pursuing a strategic transaction," and adding that it "remains committed to maximizing shareholder value."

"Werepeatedly offered Valeant the opportunity to participate in ourstrategic review process on a level playing field with others, but itwas clear Valeant was only interested in an approach that would haveeffectively excluded others," Vincente Anido Jr., ISTA's CEO, said in thestatement. "We informed Valeant that there were simply too many othercompanies that had indicated strong interest in ISTA for us to take thatapproach."

Valeant had initially made a $6.50-per-share offer in December, which would have valued ISTA at roughly  $314 million, then raised its offer by a dollar per share on Jan. 17.

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