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Leica, Bausch + Lomb ink microscope distribution deal

17 Apr 2013

German and US firms agree partnership on ophthalmic surgical microscopes.

Eyecare giant Bausch + Lomb is to distribute ophthalmic surgical microscopes built by Leica Microsystems, after the two firms agreed a deal covering “select” global markets.

The deal expands Bausch + Lomb's offerings for ophthalmic surgeons, a portfolio of technologies that already included products for cataract, refractive and retinal surgery, such as intraocular lenses.

The company also recently took full ownership of Technolas Perfect Vision (TPV), the German firm that has pioneered the development of femtosecond laser technology for cataract surgery.

Under this Leica deal, Bausch + Lomb will be adding instruments such as the Leica M822 microscope for cataract procedures, as well as high-end retinal systems, to its offering.

John Barr, executive VP and president of Bausch + Lomb’s global surgical business unit, said: " Leica Microsystems is a trusted, established brand in the industry and the company is known for [its] innovative microscopes and scientific instruments. We are excited to offer Leica surgical microscopes, as they enhance our ability to offer a 'one-stop shop' for an ophthalmic surgeons' needs, while also accelerating the growth of our business."

Leica Microsystems president Eoghan O'Lionaird added: "Through this partnership with Bausch + Lomb, we will be able to provide more patients around the world with better access to our world-leading imaging systems."

Having closed the Technolas takeover deal in January, Bausch + Lomb’s private equity owner Warburg Pincus is currently looking to sell off a chunk of the parent company via an initial public offering of stock.

In an S-1 filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) last month, it said that the proceeds would be used to repay a $700 million loan taken out to finance a recent $772 million shareholder dividend.

Over the past few years, Bausch + Lomb has loaned large sums to TPV, and auditor Ernst & Young said in SEC filings that the femtosecond laser system subsidiary would need further financial support this year to fund its operations.

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