Valeant withdraws bid for ISTA Pharmaceuticals

Cites lack of progress as reason for withdrawal

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has withdrawn its offer to acquire ISTA Pharmaceuticals, a Californian manufacturer of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and allergy drugs for $7.50 per share in cash.

Valeant, a US developer of pharmaceuticals in the areas of neurology, dermatology and branded generics, said in December that the offer would only remain open until 31 January, but withdrew the offer today (30 January) due to ‘lack of progress’.

Michael Pearson, chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, said the firm was not interested in participating in ‘a lengthy evaluation process’ and was disappointed that the ISTA team was not willing to explore the proposal fully by 31 January.

‘We continue to be disciplined on our M&A strategy and we are actively working on other opportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders,’ he added.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals reiterated its commitment to maximising shareholder value and said it would continue to review all strategic options available to it.

Vicente Anido, president and ceo, said: ‘ISTA remains committed to reviewing the full range of strategic options that are available to the company.

‘While we continue to make excellent progress and are pleased with the level of interest generated to date, it will take time to complete a thorough and thoughtful review.

‘We repeatedly offered Valeant the opportunity to participate in our strategic review process on a level playing field with others, but it was clear Valeant was only interested in an approach that would have effectively excluded others.

‘We informed Valeant that there were simply too many other companies that had indicated strong interest in ISTA for us to take that approach.’

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