Dermoestetica to sell eye unit Ultralase to 3i

MADRID Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:48pm EST

MADRID Dec 27 (Reuters) - Spanish cosmetic surgery firm Corporacion Dermoestetica DERM.MC agreed on Thursday to sell its British eye laser surgery unit Ultralase to private equity group 3i (III.L) for 174.5 million pounds ($346.6 million).

In a statement, Corporacion Dermoestetica said the Ultralase acquisition depended on due diligence and that 3i would have an exclusivity period on the deal until Jan. 31.

In November, Corporacion Dermoestetica said 3i had approached it with a takeover bid and set an exclusive negotiating period that was due to run until Dec. 28.

Earlier this year, 3i sold out of Corporacion Dermoestetica's rival, Clinica Baviera (CBAV.MC), doubling its money when the ophthalmologist and plastic surgery firm listed on the bourse. ($1=.5034 Pound) (Reporting by Jane Barrett; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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