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STAAR Surgical to Purchase Canon's Interest in Japanese Joint Venture
Date:10/26/2007

erated by Canon Marketing Japan and will be able to directly market its products. Ownership of STAAR Japan, and the termination of the principal joint venture agreements, will also give STAAR exclusive control over the rights to use STAAR's patents and other proprietary technology in Japan and China that were licensed to the joint venture at its inception in 1988 and under a Settlement Agreement entered into in 2001.

"The buy-out of Canon Staar brings us to a significant milestone in our international growth strategy," said David Bailey, President and CEO of STAAR Surgical. "We will have the capability to sell our cataract products directly in the large and growing Japanese market, which should yield enhanced gross margins and greater control over marketing and distribution. Our experience in Korea also suggests that with potential approval of our refractive products, the Visian ICL(TM) and Visian TICL(TM), Japan could become a large growth market for us. This transaction also strengthens our intellectual property position in Preloaded Injectors, which we believe will become the standard of care.

"Our partnership with the Canon companies has nurtured a technologically outstanding ophthalmic device maker in Japan," Mr. Bailey added. "Canon Staar introduced the world's first Preloaded Injector in 2003 and the first acrylic Preloaded Injector in 2006, and we believe it maintains leadership in this technology. The Canon companies' decision to sell their interest in this business gives STAAR, with its smaller scale and exclusive focus on ophthalmic implants, an opportunity to realize the full potential of the resources that we jointly developed in Japan. The significant stake in STAAR's equity that the Canon companies will have after the buy-out reflects both the importance of Canon's contribution to STAAR's future success and, we believe, the Canon companies' understanding that fully integrating the Japanese business into STAAR's worldwide business could yie
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SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company
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