Wednesday, January 17, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Eye-surgery firm mounts takeover bid

Bloomberg News Service

TORONTO — ICON Laser Eye Centers Inc., a Canadian eye-surgery company, said yesterday that it offered $15 million in stock for rival Lasik Vision Corp.

Toronto-based ICON said the offer — worth $23.6 million in Canadian currency — values Lasik at 60 Canadian cents a share, a 50 percent premium to Monday’s closing price of 40 Canadian cents.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Lasik, which ICON said has about 39.3 million shares outstanding, operates a chain of discount laser-vision correction clinics.

Both Lasik and ICON operate in Hawaii.

ICON said its offer was conditional on 51 percent of Lasik shares being tendered and a refinancing of Lasik’s debt.

Icon said it also wants Lasik director John Porter to halt a planned private stock sale.

The offer also will require Lasik’s board to waive the company’s shareholders rights plan, ICON said.

The combined company would have 69 laser vision centers in Canada, the United States, Britain, Sweden and Italy before closing a small number of overlapping clinics, ICON said.

ICON said it is being advised by Northern Securities,

The company also said it canceled plans to merge with Los Angeles-based Aris Vision Inc. It did not say why.

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