Valeant Pulls Ista Pharma Takeout Bid

IRVINE, Calif. ( TheStreet) --Shares of Ista Pharmaceuticals ( ISTA) were down Monday morning following Valeant Pharmaceuticals' ( VRX) decision to yank its all-cash takeout offer.

Citing a lack of progress in negotiations, Valeant withdrew its $7.50-per-share cash offer for Ista, a maker of medicines to treat various eye conditions.

Shares of Ista were down just 5% to $7.60 in early Monday trading -- an indication that someone is buying the stock on the dip.

Valeant first went public with its unsolicited cash offer for Ista in December, valuing the company at $6.50 per share or $314 million. Ista balked, saying Valeant's price was too low. Valent then upped its bid to $7.50 per share or $360 million but said it would walk away unless progress on the acquisition was made by Jan. 31.

"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 J. Michael Pearson, in a statement. "We continue to be disciplined on our M&A strategy and we are actively working on other opportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders."

Valeant shares closed Friday at $49.17 and were unchanged in early Monday trading.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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