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STAAR Surgical to Retire 1.7 Million Preferred Shares

May 21, 2010

MONROVIA, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today reported that it will retire 1.7 million preferred shares through a cash payment to the Canon companies of $6.8 million. STAAR originally issued the 1.7 million Series A Convertible Preferred shares as part of the Company’s December 2007 purchase of the remaining 50% interest in Canon Staar Co., Inc. STAAR has had the right to redeem the preferred shares after the first anniversary of the December 29, 2007 issue date at $4.00 per share. Because of STAAR’s election to redeem, the holders’ right to convert the shares to common stock expired on May 17, 2010.

“This transaction illustrates both the improved financial condition of STAAR Surgical, as well as our Board of Directors’ confidence in the direction and growth opportunities of the Company,” said Barry G. Caldwell, President and CEO. “By purchasing the 1.7 million convertible preferred shares at an approximately 20% discount to recent market prices for our common shares, we will generate a solid return to our shareholders. Based on the closing share price on May 20th, our purchase would create about $1.3 million in value for the nearly 35 million shares outstanding as well as eliminate the potential dilution if the shares had converted to common stock. The transaction also brings to full circle our late 2007 purchase of the 50% interest we didn’t own in our Japanese joint venture with Canon. For a total consideration of $11.8 million, we purchased that 50% interest. Given the growth opportunities we have in the Japanese market with the recent approval of our Visian ICL, we believe this transaction will end up being an exceptional value for our shareholders. Finally, with this transaction, the only debt remaining on the STAAR balance sheet is a $5 million note also related to the Japan acquisition, which is due in December of this year,” Mr. Caldwell concluded.

STAAR will complete the purchase the 1.7 million preferred shares on May 24, 2010 or on the soonest subsequent date when the share certificates are tendered.

About STAAR Surgical

STAAR, which has been solely dedicated to ophthalmic surgery for over 25 years, designs, develops, manufactures and markets implantable lenses for the eye. All of these lenses are foldable, which permits the surgeon to insert them through a small incision. A lens used to replace the natural lens after cataract surgery is called an intraocular lens or “IOL.” A lens used in refractive surgery as an alternative to LASIK is called an Implantable Collamer® Lens or “ICL.” Over 150,000 Visian ICLs have been implanted to date; to learn more about the ICL go to: www.visianinfo.com. STAAR has approximately 300 full time employees and markets lenses in approximately 50 countries. Headquartered in Monrovia, CA, it manufactures in the following locations: Nidau, Switzerland; Ichikawa City, Japan; Aliso Viejo, CA; and Monrovia, CA. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at: www.staar.com or call 626-303-7902.

Safe Harbor

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including statements about the financial impact of the repurchase of the Preferred Stock or the closing date of the repurchase, statements about prospects for the Company’s business in Japan, statements of belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing.

These statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include the following: the negative effect of the global recession on sales of products, especially products such as the ICL used in non-reimbursed elective procedures; the challenge of managing our foreign subsidiaries; the fact that the repurchase of the Preferred Stock will close when the share certificates are tendered to STAAR, which is the control of the holder, the willingness of surgeons and patients to adopt a new product and procedure; and the potential effect of recent negative publicity about LASIK on the demand for refractive surgery. STAAR assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect future events or actual outcomes and does not intend to do so.


    CONTACT:    Investors                   Media
                EVC Group                   EVC Group
                Doug Sherk, 415-896-6820    Christopher Gale, 646-201-5431

SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company


Source: newswire



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