Cooper to Buy Sauflon for $1.2B

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PLEASANTON, Calif.—The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE: COO), parent of CooperVision announced it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a European manufacturer and distributor of soft contact lenses and solutions, in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

Sauflon forecasts revenue of approximately $210 million for its fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2014, up approximately 22 percent year-over-year.

Established in 1985, Sauflon is a privately-owned British company and a global manufacturer of contact lenses and aftercare solutions. It has three state-of-the-art manufacturing plants, sales offices in over 10 countries, and products sold in over 50 countries.

Robert S. Weiss, Cooper’s president and CEO said, “We are extremely pleased to announce this acquisition which gives CooperVision the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of daily disposable lenses.

"CooperVision will now be able to offer a multi-tier daily strategy that includes a full suite of silicone hydrogel and hydrogel lenses, including options within all categories—spheres, torics and multifocals. The daily segment is the fastest growing segment of the soft contact lens market and this transaction positions CooperVision as the premier company in this space," he said.

Sauflon manufactures and distributes soft contact lenses and solutions, including a full suite of 1-Day silicone hydrogel products (sphere, toric and multifocal). Its lead product is Clariti 1Day which received FDA clearance in August 2013 and launched in the U.S. in August 2014.

In a presentation posted on its site, Cooper noted the acquisition of Sauflon is "consistent with CooperVision’s strategy to expand it's presence in underpenetrated areas, namely 1-Day silicone hydrogel lenses" which Cooper estimates accounts for $400 million of the global $3.1 billion contact lens market.

"Once integrated into CooperVision," said Cooper, "we expect to accelerate Sauflon’s growth" with the ability "to more aggressively roll out Clariti in the U.S. and Asia Pacific utilizing existing infrastructure" as well as the "ability to support a more aggressive CapEx program to support multi-year growth."

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is anticipated to close prior to fiscal year end, Oct. 31, 2014. Excluding one-time charges and deal-related amortization, the transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings per share in fiscal 2015. The acquisition will be financed with off-shore cash and credit facilities, the company said.