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£32m pay day for Aberforth

Fife eyecare company Optos sold to Nikon in £259m agreed deal

OptosEyecare company Optos has agreed to be acquired by the Japanese camera giant Nikon in a deal worth £259.3m. The 340p a share offer represents a 30.5% premium  to last night’s closing price of 260.5p.

Nikon president Kazuo Ushida said the newly combined company would create a world leader in retina testing and the two companies would now embark on further collaboration.

The Dunfermline company was founded in 1992 by Douglas Anderson  after his then five-year-old son went blind in one eye when a retinal detachment was detected too late.

It has developed into one of Scotland’s leading medical technology companies and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2006.

In the year to the end of last September, the Optos Group generated revenue of approximately £110.5 million and operating profit (before exceptional and separately disclosed items) of about £10.6m.

Edinburgh-based fund manager Aberforth Partners, which owns 13.1% of the company, will receive £32.4 million for its holding. Aberforth has £2.1 billion under management. Roy Davis, chief executive of Optos, holds just over 54,00 shares, or a modest 0.07%, worth £183,834 at the offer price.

Dr Peter Fellner, chairman of Optos, said: “Under the leadership of Roy Davis and the management team, Optos has successfully established itself as a global leader in retinal imaging supported by the introduction of innovative new products such as the Daytona. During this period, our share price and financial results have shown material improvement and Optos is now well placed for further growth.

“Following the Transaction, Optos will become a key part of Nikon’s future strategy to develop a global medical business and will continue to provide its market leading solutions to the patients we serve.  We are therefore pleased to recommend this acquisition to our shareholders.”

 Mr Ushida said: “I am pleased to announce this strategically important transaction for Optos and Nikon. I am confident that an Optos/Nikon combination would create a world class “retina” player and would significantly benefit our respective stakeholders. Together, we will pursue various collaboration opportunities and further expand the medical business in the future.”

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