Private Equity Firm Eyes Bausch & Lomb

Troubled contact lens giant fields $4.5B buyout offer
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted May 16, 2007 11:34 AM CDT
Private Equity Firm Eyes Bausch & Lomb
LIFE FAM-SELF-KIDSCONTACTS 1 AK   (KRT Photos)

(Newser) – Bausch & Lomb is seeing the private equity light at the end of the tunnel. After a year of costly recalls, accounting snafus, and lawsuits that have shaken the contact lens giant, B&L is entertaining a $4.5 billion offer—including $830 million in debt—from Warburg Pincus. The company has 50 days to solicit better offers.

Takeover rumors had swirled recently, driving the stock price to a 52-week high, the Wall Street Journal reports. Warburg offered $65 in cash per share, 26% higher than the average trading price before takeover rumors hit the market, according to the New York Times's Dealbook, but early-morning trading boosted the price above $67. (Read more private equity stories.)

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