Staar Rejects $15-a-Share Buyout Offer

From Bloomberg News

Staar Surgical Co., a Monrovia-based maker of implantable replacement lenses and other devices used in eye surgery, rejected a $15-a-share cash buyout offer from an undisclosed suitor, calling the bid "inadequate."

The unsolicited offer for 51% to 100% of Staar Surgical shares outstanding expired June 30, the company said. The bid was an 8% premium over the closing price June 25, the day before it was disclosed. Based on 14 million Staar shares outstanding May 12, the offer was valued at $210 million. The company never learned the identity of the would-be acquirer, a Staar spokesman said.

Staar shares have more than doubled from a 52-week low of $6 on Sept. 4 to $13.50 on Friday. The potential for higher government reimbursement for its Toric implantable replacement eye lens could boost the shares more, an analyst said.

"The company is too far along for $15 to be taken seriously," said Richard L. Leza of John G. Kinnard & Co., who reiterated his "strong buy" rating. Leza, who expects the shares to go to $17 or higher in 12 months, said bids of only $20 or more should be seriously considered.

Staar Surgical said the suitor didn't respond to its request for more information, including financial resources of the proposed buyer and specific terms of the offer. The offer was brought in by a third party--a person with whom the company has had past dealings, a Staar spokesman said. The person isn't an employee or shareholder of Staar Surgical, the spokesman said.

Staar had revenue of $55.1 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 1. Its stock rose 38 cents to close at $13.88 on Nasdaq.

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