Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said Thursday it is redeeming the roughly $500 million of outstanding 6.75% notes that mature in 2018 using cash on hand, as it continues to work to reduce its debt burden. The troubled drug company, which has come through an accounting scandal that led to the ouster of its CEO, said it has now reduced its debt by more than $4.8 billion since the first quarter of 2016, and is on track to meet its goal of paying down $5 billion in debt within 18 months of August 2016. The company has no major debt maturities and no mandatory amortization requirements through 2019, giving it needed breathing room. "We are confident we will not only meet, but also exceed our debt reduction commitment early," Chief Executive Joseph Papa said in a statement. Valeant shares rose 1.7% premarket, and are now up 17% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 9%.
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