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CALIFORNIA | HEALTH | THE STATE

U.S. Surgical Lowers Circon Offer

June 17, 1997|Reuters

U.S. Surgical Corp. said it is lowering its offer for Circon Corp. in an effort to secure a friendly merger agreement, but it said it is willing to pursue its hostile takeover bid for the company that makes medical endoscopes. Norwalk, Conn.-based U.S. Surgical said it is now offering $14.50 a share in cash, or about $14 million, for 14.9% of Circon stock, the amount it can buy without triggering the anti-takeover "poison pill" that was set up by Santa Barbara-based Circon after U.S. Surgical launched its bid. U.S. Surgical's latest offer will expire at midnight July 14. After that, it will offer $16.50 a share for all outstanding shares in an offer valued at $230 million. Circon shares rose 64 cents to close at $13.39 on Nasdaq. U.S. Surgical, the world's largest independent maker of surgical staples and sutures, also said it is considering a proxy contest to nominate two directors to Circon's board to bolster its takeover effort. U.S. Surgical shares rose 25 cents to close at $34 on the NYSE. Circon said it will review the revised bid.

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