Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) announced an agreement on Thursday, June 8, to sell its iNova Pharmaceuticals business to a private equity consortium of Pacific Equity Partners and Carlyle Group (CG - Get Report) for $930 million in cash.
Laval, Canada-based Valeant soared about 9% midday to a close of $13.26 apiece. Shares were still a long way off their 12-month high of $32.75 last August. Shares hit a high of $12.95 in premarket trading in New York on Thursday.
"The sale of iNova is part of the company's ongoing efforts to both simplify our operating model and strengthen our balance sheet," said Valeant chairman and chief executive officer, Joseph Papa, in a statement. "We will continue to evaluate opportunities that will enable us to deliver on our commitments and unlock value for shareholders."
Valeant said it said it will use the proceeds from the sale to repay term loan debt under a senior credit facility.
The asset sales come as Valeant attempted to pay down its massive debt load which totaled about $29.8 billion in debt as of the fourth quarter of 2016, against $1.21 billion in cash and equivalents and $925 million in availability on its revolving credit agreement.
The company had been on an acquisition tear under former CEO Mike Pearson for a number of years prior to about August 2015 when the company's shares started to tumble. In April, Valeant dipped below $10 a share for the first time since 2008.
In August 2014 it attempted Valeant teamed up with Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP, through their joint acquisition vehicle PS Fund 1 LLC, and offered to acquire Botox-maker Allergan Inc. (AGN - Get Report) for ultimately $52 billion, though the offer was promptly rejected.
The company on May 9, reported a $1 billion increase in net income year over year, along with some other positive developments that have stemmed from its restructuring and retooling efforts over the past year or so.
This was actually a good quarter, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment.
The company saw pricing stabilization in some of its units while others did well in the quarter. CEO Papa did a good job, and cash flow from operations of $954 million was also impressive for Valeant, Cramer noted.
iNova, which Valeant bought in 2011 from Australian private equity firms Archer Capital Pty. Ltd. and Ironbridge Capital Ltd., markets a portfolio of prescription and OTC products in areas such as weight management, pain management, cardiology and cough and cold. iNova holds leading market positions in Australia and South Africa and also has an established platform in Asia.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Valeant turned to Goldman, Sachs & Co. for financial advice and Baker & McKenzie LLP for external counsel.
Pacific Equity Partners and Carlyle are advised by Gilbert & Tobin, Allier Capital Pty. Ltd., Credit Suisse Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS AG and Macquarie Bank Ltd.
By Thursday's close, Valeant was up 9.2% to $13.29.
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