Valeant to Sell iNova Unit In $930 Million Transaction -- WSJ

By Austen Hufford Features Dow Jones Newswires

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. reached a deal to sell its iNova Pharmaceuticals unit for $930 million, as it works to reset itself after a crisis, cutting billions in debt and refocusing on its core treatment areas and geographies.

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iNova sells prescription and over-the-counter products in areas such as weight management, pain management, cardiology, and cough and cold. It operates in more than 15 countries, including with large market positions in Australia and South Africa and has an established platform in Asia.

The unit is being bought by a company jointly owned by affiliates of Pacific Equity Partners and Carlyle Group. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

Valeant was once a darling of Wall Street as it capitalized on a strategy of buying smaller rivals and boosting their drugs' prices. But the company's share price spiraled downward after issues arose with its accounting and business practices, and company executives who have since left the firm appeared before Congress to explain price increases. The company has a $28.2 billion long-term debt load as of March 31, according to company filings.

Valeant Chief Executive Joseph Papa said in an interview Thursday that Valeant is focusing on its core, which includes dermatology, eye care and gastrointestinal care in the U.S. Canada and Canada. Still on Thursday Valeant noted that it will maintain a strong footprint in countries served by iNova, primarily through its eye-treatment unit Bausch & Lomb.

In August, Valeant said it would pay down $5 billion in debt by February 2018. In recent months, it has announced a string of deals as part of that effort.

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Mr. Papa said the company is "well on our way to over-delivering" on its debt-reduction pledge, with a goal of ending up with $15 billion to $20 billion of debt long-term.

Mr. Papa said the company is continuing to explore additional asset sales, with processes under way, he said.

Valeant shares rose 3.9% to $12.65 in morning trading.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)