Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) is considering disposing of its Obagi medical product, a skincare product it acquired in 2013. Provenge, a laggard cancer vaccine it purchased last year is also on the chopping block, and Isuprel and Nitropress which are heart medication that received wave of political and payer pushback last summer.
Valeant is faced with a mountain of debt and one way it can reduce it is by selling some of its smaller cosmetic and pharmaceutical assets.
According to the source, the sale process is still in the early stages meaning the deal will happen for just some of those drugs but not all though if Valeant manages to strike transactions for all of them, it could generate a sum close to $1 billion.
The company’s debt was fuelled by purchases after striking out on hostile target Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN). Some of the purchases made include Provenge – its first cancer drug.
It is not the first time that sales discussions in Valeant have cropped up as the drug maker is facing huge financial debts in addition to channel-stuffing allegations, pricing pressures, and underperforming sales. The first possibility of a sale for its controversial heart drug came last October following CEO J. Michael Pearson’s comment that holding onto the unit that belongs to Valent’s neurology and other drug businesses probably does not make sense.
Since Pearson’s comment, new faces have appeared at the company eager to enact changes themselves. In March, Investor Bill Ackman suggested selling part of Bausch & Lomb to raise cash to reduce debt. He further suggested that the company could also launch an IPO for a minority stake in the range of 10 – 20%.
The company has in the past noted that it might dispose of certain ‘non-core’ assets as it seeks to pay down some of its $30- billion debt. One thing for certain is that if it decides to follow this path, there are plenty of non-core assets that it can shed.