Reports: B&L close to being acquired

By  - 5/24/2013 3:43:47 PM

Canada’s largest drugmaker is close to acquiring Bausch & Lomb Inc. in a roughly $9 billion deal, published reports state.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is seeking to acquire the local eye-care company owned by private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon.
Warburg reportedly had been shopping Bausch & Lomb to a variety of companies early this year, and then filed for an initial public offering in March after the effort to sell the company for at least $10 billion stalled.

Valeant is seeking acquisitions of companies with solid cash flows in high-growth areas, CEO Mike Pearson said on a conference call with investors earlier this month, Bloomberg reported. The Bausch & Lomb deal would be the largest of 15 acquisitions for Montreal-based Valeant since it was created in a 2010 merger of its U.S. predecessor and Canada’s Biovail Corp.

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus bought Bausch & Lomb for $3.7 billion in September 2007, taking the longtime publicly traded company private.

Bausch & Lomb officials have declined to talk about possible acquisitions of the company.

In an interview with the Rochester Business Journal last July, Bausch & Lomb CEO Brent Saunders said an IPO was more likely than a sale.

The company has posted a loss in each of the last three years, the registration filing states. Its net losses in 2010-2012 attributable to Bausch & Lomb Holdings were $196 million, $123.9 million and $68.3 million, respectively.

Net sales rose from $937.2 million in 2010 to $1.3 billion in 2012.

Bloomberg projected that at $9 billion including debt, Bausch & Lomb would be valued at about 21 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $429.5 million in the year through December.
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