HEALTH

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Eye Wear Firm Is Takeover Target: Benson Eyecare Corp. of New York said it offered $21 a share for Optical Radiation Corp. of Azusa, which makes prescription eye wear and lenses used in surgical implants. The offer consists of $17 in cash and $4 in Benson stock. Benson, an eye wear retailer rebuffed by Optical last summer, acquired 8% of Optical's stock earlier this year. That prompted Optical to hire investment bank Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities to explore a sale or restructuring. Optical Chairman Richard Wood said he has asked possible buyers to submit "expressions of interest" by Monday and that Benson's offer would be evaluated along with any others. Optical's stock rose 75 cents to $21 in Nasdaq trading. Benson's shares closed unchanged at $7.50 on the Amex. Optical had sales last year of $158 million.

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