Valeant Says No Agreement Reached on Hostile Offer for Ista

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Canada’s biggest drugmaker, said no agreement has been reached on its hostile $327 million offer for Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc.

There have been a number of talks with Ista over the $6.50-a-share bid, Mississauga, Ontario-based Valeant said in a regulatory filing today. No agreement has been reached on a price or process, the company said. Valeant said today that there’s a deadline of Jan. 31 on the offer because it is “unwilling to spend too much time,” according to the filing.

Valeant made the bid public on Dec. 16, saying Irvine, California-based Ista rebuffed three approaches. The price includes debt. Ista rejected the offer, calling it “grossly inadequate,” and said the company will explore strategic options.

“I think what’s good about Valeant is they’re very disciplined with it comes to price,” Gary Nachman, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, said by telephone. “If it doesn’t work, then they’ll move on.”

Valeant rose less than 1 percent to $47.48 at the close in New York. Ista rose 2.1 percent to $7.18.

Valeant is developing treatments in dermatology, neurology and generic and over-the-counter drugs in a handful of countries including Latin America, Europe and the U.S. The company’s therapeutic and geographic diversity make many businesses conceivable acquisition candidates, Nachman said.

“There’s a long list of potential targets and Ista is just one of many,” he said.

Ista declined to comment on the Jan. 31 deadline, Justin Jackson, an outside spokesman, said in a statement.

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