Eye care giant Bausch & Lomb files for IPO

Bausch & Lomb was founded in 1853 and is perhaps best-known for its contact lenses and eye care products. (AP/File)

Eye care company Bausch & Lomb says it plans to go public again.

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus took the company private in 2007 for $3.67 billion following a string of financial and operational problems. Bausch & Lomb said in a regulatory document Friday that it has since rebuilt and is preparing for an initial public offering of its stock.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not been determined.

Bausch & Lomb, based in Rochester, N.Y., was founded in 1853 and sells contact lenses, lens care products, as well as ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments.

When the company went private, it had being hit hard by a recall of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution, which was linked to fungal infections. Bausch & Lomb pulled MoistureLoc off the market and paid out about $250 million to settle 600-plus lawsuits linking MoistureLoc to a potentially blinding infection known as Fusarium keratitis.

The company has widely been expected to come back to the public market after it rebuilt. Bausch & Lomb has focused its efforts most recently on a series of acquisitions, such as its purchase of ISTA Pharmaceuticals last year.

Bausch & Lomb posted a net loss attributable to the company of $68.3 million in 2012 on revenue of $3.04 billion. It had a loss of $123.9 million on revenue of $2.85 billion in 2011.