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Nikon agrees to buy Optos

02/03/2015
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Japanese instruments manufacturer Nikon has agreed to buy Optos, the British retinal imaging company, for £259.3 million ($A371 million) in cash.

In a joint statement released by the two companies on 27 February, Nikon said it will pay 340 pence, or $A4.90 a share in cash for Optos, a 30.5% premium on the closing price of 260.5 pence, ($4.02) the day before.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr Kazuo Ushida, president of Nikon, said: "I am pleased to announce this strategically important transaction for Optos and Nikon."

"I am confident that an Optos/Nikon combination would create a world class 'retina' player and would significantly benefit our respective stakeholders. Together, we will pursue various collaboration opportunities and further expand the medical business in the future.

Dr Peter Fellner, chairman of Optos, said: "Under the leadership of Roy Davis and the management team, Optos has successfully established itself as a global leader in retinal imaging supported by the introduction of innovative new products such as the Daytona."

During this period, our share price and financial results have shown material improvement and Optos is now well placed for further growth.

"Following the Transaction, Optos will become a key part of Nikon's future strategy to develop a global medical business and will continue to provide its market-leading solutions to the patients we serve. We are therefore pleased to recommend this acquisition to our shareholders."

Nikon is a 98-year-old multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo that specialises in the manufacture and sales of optical instruments. For the year ended March, 31, 2014, the Nikon Group generated consolidated revenues of approximately ¥981 billion (approximately US $9.5 billion) and operating income of approximately ¥63 billion (approximately US $612 million).

Optos, based in Scotland, is a leading retinal imaging company and was incorporated in 1992. For the year ended 30 September 2014, the Optos Group generated revenue, including other operating income, of approximately $US170.6 million and operating profit, before exceptional and separately disclosed items, of approximately $16.3 million.

According to Nikon, the proposed acquisition of Optos is an important step in Nikon's implementation of a strategic initiative that is focused on driving sustainable long term growth. As part of this initiative, Nikon has announced its intention to enter the medical sector to leverage its optical technologies and know-how into the medical industry, which is poised for growth.

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In particular, retinal imaging is expected to grow significantly as a result of the vision care needs of the aging population. Nikon's acquisition of Optos requires the approval of Optos shareholders, as well as court approval and anti-trust approvals.

The acquisition is not connected to Essilor International's Nikon lens business.

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