Valeant Pharmaceuticals

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
Type Public company
Traded as NYSEVRX
S&P/TSX 60 component
Industry Pharmaceutical industry
Founded 1960
Headquarters Laval, Québec, Canada
Key people J. Michael Pearson (Chairman & CEO)
Products Cesamet (nabilone)
Ribavirin (licensed to Schering Plough)
Revenue $3.5 billion (2012)[1]

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. is a publicly traded pharmaceutical company based in Montreal, Canada.[2] The company's activities span the drug discovery pipeline from target identification through clinical trials and commercialization. The focus of the company is on neurology, dermatology and infectious disease with several drugs in late-stage clinical trials and several currently on the market. In addition, Valeant has a portfolio of more than 500 products from its prior history as a group of specialty chemical and radiochemical research, development and supply companies with a history stretching back to the 1960s.

Valeant sells a wide range of drugs, including over-the counter medications and medical devices, as well as prescription drugs such as antidepressant Wellbutrin XL.[1] Kinerase, which uses kinetin as active ingredient, is one of the most popular products of Valeant.

An important part of the growth strategy for Valeant has been acquisitions, sometimes in the multi-billion dollar range, of medical and pharmaceutical companies.[1] As of May 2013, the company was valued at $29.2 billion, making it the 17th largest public company in Canada. It is the largest pharmaceutical company in Canada.[2]


Valeant was founded as a United States business.[1] It has undergone major management, operational and strategic restructurings since the 1990s when shareholders of several group units approved the merger of ICN Pharmaceuticals (founded by Milan Panić), ICN Biomedicals, SPI Pharmaceuticals and Viratek into a new global entity, ICN Pharmaceuticals, the immediate forebear of Valeant.

In 2008 the Swedish pharmaceutical company Meda AB bought branches in Western and Eastern Europe from Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $392 Million.[3]

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

In May 2010, Valeant announced that it was acquiring Aton Pharmaceuticals for about $318 million.[4]

On September 28, 2010, Valeant was purchased by Biovail. The new company retained the Valeant name and kept J. Michael Pearson as CEO, but was incorporated in Canada and kept Biovail's headquarters.[5] In May 2011, former Biovail Corporation Chairman and CEO Eugene Melnyk was banned from senior roles at public companies in Canada for five years and penalized to pay $565,000 by the Ontario Securities Commission. In the year before the merger with Valeant, Melnyk had settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 US having previously paid $1 million U.S. to settle other claims with the SEC.[6]

Since the 2010 merger, Valeant has aggressively expanded through acquisition. It makes about 25 deals a year, according to CEO Mike Pearson, most of which are too small to require financial reporting.[1] Deals usually focus on specialized high-margin markets such as dermatology and eye care.[2] A total of 14 purchases were publicly announced from 2010-early 2013. In August 2012, Valeant agreed to buy skin-care company Medicis Pharmaceutical for $2.6 billion. The price, $44/share in cash, represented a 39% premium on Medicis' stock.[7] Valeant projected annual cost savings of $225 million from the deal. An analyst for Forbes said "the deal ticks all the right boxes for Valeant share holders."[7] The deal was the largest of the 14 announced mergers.[1] A 2011 attempt to buy drugmaker Cephalon Inc. for $5.7 billion was unsuccessful.[1]

In May 2013, Valeant agreed to buy Bausch & Lomb, a maker of contact lens solution and surgical devices, from Warburg Pincus LLC for US$8.57 billion in cash.[1] The deal, which was approved by shareholder, includes $4.2 billion earmarked to pay down Bausch & Lomb debt.[2] It is Valeant's largest acquisition to date and will be financed by with $1.5-$2 billion of new equity, and $6-7 billion of new debt.[1] The new debt will bring the company's total to approximately $18 billion. Analyst Neil Maruoka called the purchase an "excellent fit" for Valeant.[2] The company's stock rose about 25% when the deal was announced.[2]

Valeant's existing eye care businesses will be moved to the Bausch & Lomb headquarters in Rochester, New York.[1] The company expects to achieve at least $800 million annually in cost savings, mostly from reduced overhead, as a result.[2] The acquisition will help Valeant enter markets such as China that it previously did not compete in.[1] Valeant will employ roughly 18,000 people after the deal is complete, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2013.[2][1]

Bausch & Lomb was founded in 1853 acquired by Warburg Pincus in 2007 in a leveraged buyout.[2][1] Warburg Pincus had previous attempted to sell Bausch & Lomb for $10 billion. Bausch & Lomb had filled for an initial public offering after failing to find a buyer. The company had $3 billion of sales in 2012.[1]

Valeant CEO Mike Pearson said the company would continue to pursue mergers and acquisitions in the near future, but would need three or four month to get a handle on Bausch & Lomb before deciding on its next target. "We certainly continue to explore, continue to have discussions and we hope [mergers of equals] will eventually be part of the playbook", Pearson told investors in a conference call.[1] He added that the company would "never fall in love with any of our assets" and would sell an asset to the right buyer.[1] Maruoka said one of Valeant's core strengths is its ability to integrate large acquisitions with its existing businesses.[2]

It was revealed in February 2014 that Valeant would acquire PreCision Dermatology Inc for $475 million, a deal aimed at strengthening the firm’s skin products business.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Alex Wayne (May 28, 2013). "Valeant Agrees to Buy Bausch & Lomb in $8.7 Billion Deal". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Richard Blackwell; Sean Silcoff; Bertrand Marotte (May 27, 2013). "Valeant Pharmaceuticals eyes China with Bausch deal". The Global and Mail. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "UPDATE 1-Valeant Q1 profit beats Street; to acquire Aton Pharma". Reuters. May 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Drugmaker Biovail to buy Valeant in $3.3 billion deal". Reuters. June 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Senators owner Melnyk banned for five years from boardrooms of public companies The Financial Post by Barbara Shector, May 5, 2011". Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Valeant To Acquire Medicis for $2.6 Billion". Forbes. September 3, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 23013. 
  8. ^ Euan Rocha (4 February 2014). "Valeant to buy PreCision Dermatology for $475 million". Reuters.