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Valeant pulls offer for ISTA Pharmaceuticals

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. says a "lack of progress" has led it to withdraw its offer for Irvine, Calif.-based ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. of $7.50 (U.S.) per share.

Originally, the Mississauga, Ont.,-based pharmaceutical company had planned a deadline of Jan. 31 for the offer, but on Monday decided to pull out early.

"As we stated last December, we were not interested in participating in a lengthy evaluation process and we are disappointed that the ISTA team was not willing to fully explore our proposal by January 31," said Valeant CEO Michael Pearson.

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Valeant has been pursuing ISTA for months, but the target company said it was in talks with a number of parties that have expressed interest in pursuing a transaction.

Valeant is focused on neurology and dermatology with operations primarily in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, central and eastern Europe and Australia.

ISTA operates the third-largest branded prescription eye care business in the United States.

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