BRISBANE and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cutera, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUTR) and IRIDEX Corporation (NASDAQ: IRIX) today announced that the companies have entered into a binding agreement for Cutera to purchase certain assets of IRIDEX' global aesthetic business for approximately $5.1 million. Currently, both companies serve the growing approximately $1 billion global aesthetic market, with IRIDEX' strength in vascular treatments, a mainstay in the dermatology specialty. This proposed strategic combination is expected to advance Cutera's presence among core physicians worldwide and create a stronghold in the vascular aesthetic sector. "We are pleased to announce this transaction with IRIDEX which illustrates our strategy to leverage our products in the core markets and strengthens our global footprint, particularly in Europe," said Kevin Connors, president and chief executive officer of Cutera. "Combined, we'll offer one of the most comprehensive portfolios of vascular laser solutions in the industry today. With Cutera's premium Excel V™ laser to IRIDEX' portable VariLite™ dual wavelength system, we'll enable physicians to effectively treat a wider range of vascular aesthetic indications at multiple price points." Dominik Beck, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of IRIDEX, said, "The acquisition of our aesthetic laser assets by Cutera places that technology and those customers in very capable hands and allows us to refocus all of our resources on the substantial and growing ophthalmology opportunity that is core to IRIDEX' future. We will continue to strengthen our domestic and international ophthalmology presence by leveraging the brand equity and relationships established in that business over three decades and by driving a new paradigm in the treatment of retinal diseases. We thank our employees and channel partners who have worked diligently on IRIDEX aesthetic technologies. Their tremendous contributions have made possible our progress in the growing worldwide aesthetics laser industry." Kevin Connors further stated, "We are committed to providing the same high quality service that our collective customers have come to expect, and to capitalize on cross–selling opportunities to the over 6,000 physicians that IRIDEX, and their previous acquisition of Laserscope Corporation, has served worldwide. Lastly, we expect to leverage the dedicated employees of IRIDEX' aesthetic business unit and welcome their contributions at Cutera." The transaction is expected to close in early 2012 and has been approved by both boards of directors. Cutera expects to fund the acquisition through its existing cash resources. IRIDEX will continue supporting its customers worldwide until Cutera assumes this responsibility after closing. The parties have also entered into an agreement for IRIDEX to supply Cutera with transitional product and service support. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.