Alcon takes another step towards WaveLight acquisition

September 1, 2007

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority has approved publication of Alcon's tender offer document for WaveLight AG. This tender offer marks the second step in the completion of Alcon's acquisition of WaveLight.

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority has approved publication of Alcon's tender offer document for WaveLight AG. This tender offer marks the second step in the completion of Alcon's acquisition of WaveLight.

Alcon hopes to increase its stake in WaveLight from 16% of issued shares to at least 75% and, in response to recent trading activity, Alcon has increased its previously announced offer for WaveLight from e10 to e15 per share. The tender offer acceptance period closes on 11th September, 2007.

Alcon isn't the only firm to express an interest in WaveLight, however. Carl Zeiss Meditec's has also acquired a 5% shareholding in the firm. The company says that the acquisition of stock demonstrates its interest in a possible voluntary takeover offer. Zeiss believes any takeover would be based on the future earning potential of Wavelight and the possible benefits that could arise from combining the two businesses.

Zeiss and Ilmenau University open new research lab

The laboratory is distinguished by housing the latest in diagnostic systems, particularly those used for the examination of the posterior segment. There are to be three main areas of research: to combine previously independent examination methods, to develop more powerful systems with easily interpretable diagnostic data for the early detection of eye disorders and to integrate diagnosis with therapy in a comprehensive patient-orientated treatment approach.

The main aim of these projects is to develop early diagnosis and improved monitoring of eye disorders such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and arterial/venous occlusion.

The laboratory was made possible by "research and development infrastructure" support from the Thuringian Ministry of Education and Arts.

Elsewhere, Dr Michael Kaschke, Director of Carl Zeiss AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, has also announced the opening of the first training centre for ophthalmology at the Cicendo Hospital in Bandung, Indonesia, together with Dr Gullapalli N. Rao, President of IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) and representatives of the Indonesian government.

Carl Zeiss is supporting the foundation of the training centre with a donation of $200,000, which will be used for training staff and equipping the centre. The company also donated several systems for diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, including slit lamps, treatment lasers and a surgical microscope.

AMO pulls out of B&L bid

Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) has withdrawn its bid to buy Bausch & Lomb (B&L), according to a letter issued to B&L by AMO president, James V. Mazzo. The decision was made after B&L refused to grant more time to AMO to prove that it could gain the support needed from shareholders.

B&L had been trying to decide between AMO's cash and stock offer and a $65 per share all-cash offer made by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus in May. B&L initially accepted the latter but was allowed to solicit better offers during a 50-day "go shop" period. AMO made its offer on 5th July, the last day of the go-shop period.

On 24th July, B&L told AMO that it preferred Warburg Pincus' offer and gave the company until 3rd August to provide concrete, credible evidence of shareholder approval. AMO responded that it needed several weeks to convince its shareholders of the deal's potential value, however, this extension was not granted by B&L, hence AMO's decision to withdraw.

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