CooperVision Completes Acquisition of Sauflon, Expanding Its One-Day CL Options


CooperVision’s president North
America, Bob Ferrigno.

PLEASONTON, Calif.—The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), parent of CooperVision, has completed the acquisition of Sauflon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., manufacturer and distributor of soft contact lenses and solutions. The approximately $1.2 billion deal expands CooperVision’s portfolio to include an extensive range of daily disposable contact lens options. The acquisition agreement was originally reported by VMail, July 1, 2014.

Sauflon manufactures and distributes soft contact lenses and solutions, including a full suite of one-day silicone hydrogel products (sphere, toric and multifocal). Its lead product is Clariti 1Day, which received FDA clearance in August 2013 and launched in the U.S. in August 2014. These one-day contact lenses will augment CooperVision’s current production of daily disposable, two-week and monthly contact lenses.

While “it’s business as usual for CooperVision and Sauflon for at least another 60 days,” according to CooperVision’s president North America, Bob Ferrigno, he told VMail that the “Sauflon name will begin to fade” as the company approaches November 2014, when both companies’ products are expected to be sold through a single entity. In addition, he told VMail, “We’re in the process of building sales capability to have greater reach to eyecare practitioners.” He explained that this would be accomplished through both the Sauflon acquisition and CooperVision’s own internal expansion of its sales organization.

When asked about plans for Sauflon’s senior management, a CooperVision spokesperson told VMail, “We just announced the completion of the acquisition and are working diligently to complete the integration, which includes evaluation of Sauflon’s senior leadership team.”

Since Ferrigno became CooperVision’s North American president earlier this year, as reported by VMail, “plans we have established as a commercial organization involve maintaining and increasing our ability to help eyecare practitioners meet what we’ve defined as their key needs,” he said. The company defines those needs as: “1) maintain ECPs’ ability to perform eye exams while selling contact lenses, 2) help ECPs gain financial profitability to sell contact lenses, and 3) gain new patients while 4) retaining current patients.”

The company intends to address these goals in part through the increased product array resulting from the recent acquisition of Sauflon, according to Ferrigno, who added that the company’s acquisition of Websystem3 at the end of 2012 is also a strategic factor.

This patient communication platform forms the foundation on which CooperVision’s Eye Care Prime Premier program is built to provide digital marketing services to ECPs throughout the U.S. Further plans to expand the marketing platform include an app in beta testing now that will provide ECPs with e-commerce capabilities for patients looking to re-order contact lenses.