Bausch & Lomb owner Valeant Pharmaceuticals to cut €28.5bn debt

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which also owns Bausch & Lomb here, is selling its Dendreon cancer business and three skincare brands for about $2.12bn (€2bn) as the troubled Canadian drugmaker looks to pay down its more than $30bn (€28.5bn) debt.
Bausch & Lomb owner Valeant Pharmaceuticals to cut €28.5bn debt

French cosmetics group L’Oreal is buying CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi from Valeant for about $1.3bn in cash.

Valeant is also selling its Dendreon unit to China’s Sanpower Group for $819.9m. Valeant bought bankrupt Dendreon in 2015 for about $300m.

The deals could be the first of a series of divestitures for Valeant, whose growth was fuelled by an acquisition spree that left it saddled with a huge debt.

Valeant owns Waterford’s Bausch & Lomb eye care manufacturing plant which employs more than 1,250 people. Last month, union staff voted to accept a pay deal at the plant.

Valeant is trying to regain investor confidence after its stock fell nearly 90% in the past year over disclosures it secretly worked with a speciality pharmacy to boost sales of its medicines.

The Quebec-based Valeant is the subject of a number of recent investigations related to speciality pharmacy, including by congressional panels and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“With this sale, we are better aligning our product portfolio with Valeant’s new operating strategy by exiting the urological oncology business, which is one of our non-core assets,” said Valeant chief executive Joseph Papa.

Mizuho Securities analyst Irina Koffler said she also expects Valeant to divest its dental business.

CeraVe develops cleansers, moisturisers and baby products and is one of the fastest-growing active skincare brands in the US, L’Oreal said. AcneFree provides acne treatments and skin cleansers, while Ambi makes products to treat dark spots.

L’Oreal said the three brands would stand alongside Vichy and La Roche-Posay in its active cosmetics division, which is among its strongest in terms of growth and resilience to slowdowns in consumer spending.

L’Oreal paid nearly eight times the brand’s combined annual revenue of $168m as it expands into one of the fastest growing areas of the beauty industry.

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