ST. LOUIS – TLC Vision Corporation (TSX: TLC.TO), North America’s largest eye care services company, which trades on the TSX and Nasdaq markets, is selling some of its Canadian operations and has struck a deal with many of its secured bondholders to restructure its balance sheet.

The company and two of its subsidiaries have filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States.

TLC shares were halted pending news on the TSX. After trading resumed, TLC stock fell 5.5 per cent to close at 26.5 cents on Canada’s main stock market, a drop of 26.2 per cent.

The company, which employed 1,000 people at the end of 2008, also is seeking recognition of its Chapter 11 filing in a case it’s starting in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

No other company operations, affiliates or subsidiaries – including its TLC Laser Eye Centers – are involved in the bankruptcy filing.

TLCVision said clinical care for its patients continues without interruption and the filing won’t affect its ongoing commitments to current employees.

Under the restructuring plan, the company will convert some of its debt into new shares of TLC Vision (USA) Corp., which will emerge as a private company.

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