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ISTA To Consider Revised Offer From Valeant - Update

Eye-disease drug developer ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISTA) Tuesday said it has received a revised non-binding proposal from Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX,VRX.TO) to acquire the company and would consider the updated proposal as part of its ongoing review of strategic options.

On December 16, 2011, ISTA had rejected a $6.50 per share hostile, non-binding bid made by Valeant, stating the offer undervalues the company and it sees a bright future, owing to its robust drug portfolio and a healthy pipeline.

In a meeting last week, Valeant raised its initial proposal to $7.50 per share in cash and set a target price of $8.50 per share in cash, subject to one week of due diligence. Valeant on Monday sent a letter to ISTA, confirming its increased non-binding proposal, which ISTA said included several inaccuracies about ISTA's process and the discussions between the two companies.

ISTA said its process for review of strategic options is advancing as planned in an expeditious manner. As part of the strategic review process revealed on December 16, 2011, ISTA is currently in talks with some parties interested in a strategic transaction.

The company said Valeant has not executed a confidentiality agreement and that if it chooses to execute a confidentiality agreement as other parties have done, ISTA would provide it the same non-public information provided to other parties.

Vicente Anido, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of ISTA, said, "Valeant has and continues to be offered the same confidentiality agreement, with no standstill provision, as all the other participants in our process and is subject to the same timeline...We do not think it is in the shareholders' best interest to abort our process to accommodate Valeant's artificially short timetable."

Greenhill & Co. is acting as financial advisor to ISTA. Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth and WilmerHale LLP are its legal advisors.

ISTA closed Friday at $7.27, down $0.09 or 1.22 percent, on 238,367 shares.

VRX settled lower by $0.19 at $48.19 on a volume of 2.19 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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