Aesthetic device maker Solta Medical sells itself to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $250M

Solta Fraxel skin laser before and after--Courtesy of Solta

After layoffs, a sales strategy revamp and spending cuts, Solta Medical ($SLTM) has found a buyer to rescue it from its financial and market woes. The Hayward, CA, maker of aesthetic medical devices will sell itself to Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) for $250 million in cash.

The price breaks down to $2.92 per share, a 40% premium over Solta's Dec. 13 closing price. If all goes well, both sides plan to finalize the deal in the 2014 first quarter.

The sale makes sense. Valeant, which is based in Laval, Quebec, is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, eye health, neurology and branded generics, so there's some compatibility there. With the deal in place, it becomes a much bigger player in the aesthetics space. In addition, Valeant has also dived into related device waters before. Earlier this year, Valeant snatched up eye care giant Bausch + Lomb for $8.7 billion, gaining access to a large offering of eye implants, surgical devices, lenses and ophthalmic pharmaceutical offerings.

When Solta finalized a $40 million structured debt financing in November, the company warned it would explore a possible sale. Mark Sieczkarek, Solta's chairman of the board and interim CEO, said in a statement that the deal with Valeant is Solta's best option moving forward.

"The acquisition by Valeant provides the best opportunity for Solta Medical brands and our employees to achieve their full potential while generating a significant, near term return for our stockholders," Sieczkarek said. "Valeant has a proven track record of successfully integrating a number of major acquisitions into their portfolio and has established a significant presence in the aesthetics market."

Valeant executives, meanwhile, see Solta as dovetailing nicely with what their company already offers.

"Solta's leading aesthetic devices are a natural fit with Valeant's facial injectables, professional skin care products and physician dispensed products and will establish Valeant in a strong leadership presence in the aesthetic market," Valeant Chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said in a statement.

Aesthetic medical devices are a huge business, but Solta suffered in recent years in the face of major competition, and sales of its signature Liposonix noninvasive fat-reduction device have plunged as a result. As of Sept. 30 and before its debt financing, Solta had barely $7.7 million in cash on hand.

- read the deal announcement

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