While confirming its interest in the acquisition of Bausch & Lomb, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) is making another product recall, this time for its Complete MoisturePlus solution for contact lenses. This latest recall is not linked with one that took place last summer, and which stemmed from production problems in China. AMO stressed that the current recall is the result of ?an abundance of caution.?
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) found what it believes is a link between AMO's Complete MoisturePlus solution and a rash of Acanthamoeba keratitis infections among some contact lens wearers. AMO has blamed the people consuming its products for the recent breakout of the diseases, saying they improperly cared for or mishandled their contact lenses, but the company said it will issue a global recall anyway.
According to the company, the CDC report showed that many of the infected contact lens wearers were using their lenses in water-based environments like swimming pools or showers, and were improperly storing and disinfecting them. In a separate development, a man in California is suing AMO for damages caused by its Complete MoisturePlus contact lens care solution, after he was diagnosed with the Acanthamoeba keratitus disease. The complaint cites data from the CDC that indicates that people using the solution had a seven-fold risk of developing the infection.
It is not yet clear what kind of an impact the recall will have on AMO's total revenues. Last year MoisturePlus sales totaled $105.7 million, and represented 10 percent of the company's net turnover.
Meanwhile Bausch & Lomb, which had its own recall nightmare last year with its ReNu MoistureLoc solution, has finally released its financial results for the 1st quarters of 2006 and 2007. B&L is still working to finalize with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its outstanding filings, which include financial results for the 3rd quarter of 2005, as well as the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2006.
The latest filings show consolidated sales of $578.9 million for the 1st quarter ended last March 31, up from $546 million in the 1st quarter ended Apr. 1, 2006. In the most recent quarter, B&L's operating income climbed by 53.2 percent to $50.1 million, and net income reached $18.4 million, as compared to $11.8 million in the year-ago period.
In dollar terms, sales in Europe grew by 23.5 percent to $230.1 million in the quarter, while operating income there jumped by 117.0 percent to $72.4 million. Turnover in the Americas slid by 2.2 percent to $242.1 million. Operating income in the region rose by 15.3 percent to $93.3 million. In Asia, revenues were off by 4.9 percent to $106.7 million, and operating income dropped by 13.9 percent to $17.3 million.
It is not clear whether some potential new candidates for B&L's acquisition are waiting for more details on its financial performance before making an open bid. AMO has entered the ?go-shop? bidding process for B&L, and it is reportedly ready to pay more than the price of $3.67 billion already offered by an institutional investor, Warburg Pincus. B&L is obligated to pay Warburg Pincus a break-up fee of $40 million if it accepts a higher offer within 50 calendar days. AMO has said it is interested in buying B&L because of ?the highly complementary nature of our two businesses.?