Valeant Pharmaceuticals launches $1bn private bond sale to pay down huge debt pile

Courtney Goldsmith
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The Canada-based company is working to pay down debt (Source: Getty)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals has launched a $1bn (£753m) private bond sale as the company works to pay down its huge debt pile.

The specialty pharmaceuticals firm, which is based in Canada, will use the proceeds to pay down around $1bn of existing bonds that are due in 2020.

Embattled drugmaker Valeant is grappling with a towering $29bn debt pile.

The company is now expected to exceed its goal of paying down more than $5bn of debt by February 2018, which would leave it with no significant debt maturities until 2020.

This latest move follows a series of asset sales, including cancer treatment unit Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Obagi Medical Products and Inova Pharmaceuticals, the proceeds of which are also being used to pay down debt.

The firm creates a range of products in areas including dermatology, gastrointestinal disorders, eye health, neurology and branded generics. Its New York Stock Exchange-listed share price rose nearly two per cent on yesterday’s news.

Not only does chief executive Joseph Papa have billions of dollars worth of debt built up over his predecessor Mike Pearson’s reign to deal with, but he is also working to rebuild credibility after Valeant became embroiled in an accounting and drug pricing scandal in 2015.

The company missed a deadline to file its annual report due to a review over the firm’s accounting practices. A board committee was probing the company’s ties to speciality drug distributor Philidor Rx.

In August, Valeant posted revenue of $2.23 billion, just about in line with analyst expectations, but it lowered its revenue forecast for the year to between $8.7bn and $8.9bn from a previous forecast of $8.9bn to $9.1bn.

Read more: Valeant shares slump as full-year guidance is slashed and losses mount

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