STAAR Surgical Completes Purchase of Canon's Interest in Japanese Joint Venture
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Staar Surgical Co.
1911 Walker Ave.
Monrovia, CA, 91016
Press release date: January 2, 2008
Transaction Boosts Presence in Expanding Asian Surgical Market
MONROVIA, Calif., Jan. 2 - STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ:STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that it has completed the purchase of the interests of all other shareholders in Canon Staar Co., Inc., a joint venture that was formed by STAAR, Canon Inc. and Canon Marketing Japan, Inc. in 1988 to develop, manufacture and sell in Japan products using STAAR's technology. Canon Staar, which generated $10.4 million in revenue during fiscal 2006, has been renamed STAAR Japan, Inc. and has become a wholly owned subsidiary of STAAR operating directly in the Japanese market. The transaction significantly increases STAAR's direct presence in the high growth Asian surgical marketplace.
"This transaction represents a major milestone for STAAR Surgical," said Barry Caldwell, President and CEO. "While Canon was a positive strategic partner of ours for nearly 20 years, our agreements with them created some significant limitations regarding potential strategic options and those are now removed. We now have a direct marketing and selling presence in Japan, one of the largest ophthalmic surgical markets in the world. At its current sales levels, we continue to expect that STAAR Japan will add in excess of $12 million of revenue to STAAR Surgical in 2008. In addition, the acquisition gives STAAR exclusive control over the rights to use our patents and other proprietary technology in Japan, China and worldwide while strengthening our intellectual property position in areas such as Preloaded Injectors," added Mr. Caldwell.
"We welcome the employees of Canon Staar to the STAAR Surgical family and we are particularly pleased that Mr. Isamu Kamijo, who served as general manager of Canon Staar, has become President of STAAR Japan," said David Bailey, President of STAAR international operations. "Mr. Kamijo's leadership will aid the integration of STAAR Japan into our international operations and he will continue to lead our effort to seek approval from the Japanese regulatory authorities to market in Japan STAAR's Visian® ICL(TM), Collamer® IOL and AquaFlow® Device. In addition, I look forward to working with him to capitalize on the significant opportunities for our products and technology in Japan and throughout Asia. Our International business has been growing significantly and is profitable; the integration of this business in Japan should enhance these trends.
At closing, STAAR paid to the Canon companies $4 million in cash and 1.7 million newly issued shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock. The Series A Convertible Preferred Stock will be convertible into common stock at a one-to-one ratio, and under certain circumstances will be redeemable for cash at $4 per share.
Canon Staar's Preloaded Injector, currently approved for sale in Japan and China employs a state-of-the-art silicone aspheric IOL and has been expanded to incorporate a hydrophobic acrylic lens supplied by Nidek Co., Ltd. under an arrangement that will continue after the transaction. Nidek has also acted as a Japanese subdistributor for Canon Staar's silicone Preloaded Injectors, and STAAR anticipates that Nidek will continue to handle this sales channel for STAAR Japan.
About STAAR Surgical
STAAR is a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of minimally invasive ophthalmic products employing proprietary technologies. STAAR's products are used by ophthalmic surgeons and include the Visian ICL, a tiny, flexible lens implanted to correct refractive errors, as well as innovative products designed to improve patient outcomes for cataracts and glaucoma. Manufactured in Switzerland by STAAR, the ICL is approved by the FDA for use in treating myopia, has received CE Marking and is sold in more than 40 countries. More information is available at http://www.staar.com/.
Source: STAAR Surgical Company
CONTACT: Investors, Douglas Sherk, +1-415-896-6820,
or Jennifer Beugelmans, +1-646-201-5447,
or Media, Steve DiMattia, +1-646-201-5445, all of EVC Group, for STAAR Surgical Company
Web site: http://www.staar.com/