STAAR to purchase Canon's joint interest

December 1, 2007

STAAR Surgical Co. has agreed to acquire the interests of all other shareholders in Canon Staar Co. Inc., a joint venture that was formed by STAAR, Canon Inc., and Canon Marketing Japan Inc. in 1988 to develop, manufacture, and sell in Japan products using STAAR's technology.

Monrovia, CA-STAAR Surgical Co. has agreed to acquire the interests of all other shareholders in Canon Staar Co. Inc., a joint venture that was formed by STAAR, Canon Inc., and Canon Marketing Japan Inc. in 1988 to develop, manufacture, and sell in Japan products using STAAR's technology.

The transaction is expected to close Dec. 28. The entity will be renamed STAAR Japan Inc. and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of STAAR.

"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," said David Bailey, president and chief executive officer of STAAR Surgical. He described the market in Japan as "large and growing."

Canon Staar manufactures and sells an injector system preloaded with a silicone or acrylic IOL for use in cataract surgery. Bailey said that STAAR expects the system to become the standard of care.

The acrylic-lens injectors, approved for sale in Japan and China, use a lens supplied by Nidek Co. Ltd. under an arrangement that will continue after the transaction. Nidek also has been a subdistributor for the injectors with silicone lenses in Japan, and STAAR anticipates that Nidek will continue to handle this sales channel after the closing of the transaction.

Canon Staar also is seeking approval from the Japanese regulatory authorities to market in Japan STAAR's implantable contact lens (Visian Implantable Collamer Lens), an IOL (Afinity Collamer), and a glaucoma implant (AquaFlow).

Canon Staar recorded worldwide sales of $10.4 million in fiscal year 2006.