Bausch + Lomb is to acquire eyecare specialist Ista Pharmaceuticals, which previously rejected offers from Valeant, for $9.10 per share.

That values the deal at around $500 million and a 10% premium to the share price as of the market close on March 23. It is also significantly higher than the offers that came in from Valeant.

Just before Christmas, the latter's $6.50 per share offer, which valued Ista at $314 million, was dismissed as "grossly inadequate". However, in January, Valeant raised its proposal to $7.50 per share in cash and set a target price of $8.50 per share in cash, subject to one week of due diligence.

However Ista noted at the time that it was in dialogue with a number of companies and it is clear B + L was one of them. The eyecare giant says the deal adds Ista's portfolio of "industry-proven non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, allergy, glaucoma and spreading agents" to B + L's "robust, complementary portfolio of existing prescription ophthalmology and over-the-counter eye health products".

The companies also have complementary development pipelines and B + L's chief executive Brent Saunders said Ista is "an excellent strategic fit". He noted that his firm already manufactures nearly all of Ista's current US products so "our companies have known each other well for many years" and "we share a strong overlapping customer base in the USA".

Mr Saunders went on to say that with this combination, "we will significantly enhance our pharmaceutical pipeline, nearly doubling the number of mid- to late-stage innovations". B + L intends to finance the acquisition with a combination of cash and the proceeds of a $350 million incremental term loan facility.