B&L Shareholders Approve Warburg Pincus Merger

January 21, 2007 Posted by Rochester News


Bausch & Lomb shareholders approved a $3.67 billion merger deal with Warburg Pincus Friday. The deal pays shareholders $65 per share.
“I think it’s good for Rochester and good for all of us,” said Mary Finucane, a shareholder from Irondequoit. “Because they will not be merging services the way they would if a competitor purchased them.”
B&L CEO Ronald Zarella says Warburg Pincus was attracted by the Bausch & Lomb name, its products, and potential.
“They made an investment because they like what we have here, like the path we’re on, they think we can make a comeback from the difficulties of last year,” said Zarella.
Those difficulties were punctuated by the worldwide recall of B&L’s top contact lens cleaner solution. Zarrella says the recall had a significant financial effect on the company—a precursor to the WP offer, and one from a California company, which was later pulled off the table.
Retiree Ken Gill came to the special meeting of Bausch & Lomb shareholders with no complaints about the Warburg Pincus merger, but a lot of questions.
“...what are the benefits for the retirees,” said Gill. “What’s going to happen? Are they going to continue?”
Shareholders will get their payouts after the deal closes. Zarrella says that could happen sometime around the end of October.
Zarella says benefits for employees and retirees won’t change under the deal.
He says B&L remains committed to Rochester, home of the company’s headquarters—not to mention a significant amount of research and development and manufacturing.

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