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ISTA's hard-to-get stance yields $500M Bausch & Lomb bid

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Either Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) was a cheapskate suitor for ISTA Pharma ($ISTA), or Bausch & Lomb has overpaid for the eye-drug specialist. Bausch & Lomb has agreed to buy ISTA for about $500 million, or $9.10 per share, two months after Valeant walked away with its $6.50-per-share offer.

So, the purchase price amounts to a 40% premium to Valeant's bid. It also reflects a 134% premium over ISTA's stock price the day before Valeant announced its offer. But as RTT News points out, it's just 10% more than ISTA's closing price on Friday.

Bausch & Lomb already manufactures most of ISTA's products in the U.S., and the two companies' customer base in America overlaps significantly. "(O)ur companies have known each other well for many years," CEO Brent Saunders said in a statement.

Slotting ISTA's currently marketed products--including Bromday, a drop for cataract surgery patients, and allergy remedy Bepreve--into Bausch & Lomb's drug sales will add to profits immediately, the company said. Plus, Bausch & Lomb gets ISTA's in-development drugs. As Saunders told Reuters, "This ... nearly doubles our late-stage research and development pipeline."

- read the statement from Bausch & Lomb
- see the RTT News piece
- get more from Reuters
- check out the Bloomberg story

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Hungry for ISTA, Valeant makes bid