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Valeant in talks to sell eye surgery unit to Carl Zeiss

June 6, 2017
  • Assets could be valued at about $2 billion in a possible sale
  • No deal is imminent, other bidders may be interested in it

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is in talks to sell its Bausch & Lomb unit’s surgical products business to German medical technology maker Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, people familiar with the matter said.

Talks are ongoing and a possible agreement may still be weeks away, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Other bidders could still be interested in the business, the people said.

Valeant’s eye-surgery assets may be valued at about $2 billion in a sale, the people said. No final decisions have been made and the companies may decide against a deal, they said.

Representatives for Valeant and Carl Zeiss Meditec declined to comment.

Carl Zeiss Meditec, with a market value of 4.1 billion euros ($4.6 billion), is the medical-device business of Carl Zeiss AG, a closely held German company founded more than 170 years ago as a maker of scientific tools and instruments. In addition to medical equipment, Zeiss now makes measuring technology, microscopes, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor-manufacturing equipment.

Valeant is divesting assets to cut some of its $28.9 billion in debt as Chief Executive Officer Joe Papa works to stabilize the company after two years plagued by disappointing sales of some of its key drugs and government probes into pricing.

Last month, Valeant predicted its adjusted full-year earnings would be higher than previously anticipated, and said it had made progress in paying down its heavy debt load piled up during a series of deals that built the drugmaker into an industry giant.

The company abandoned plans to sell its Salix gastrointestinal drugs division last year after talks with a buyer fell apart, people familiar with the matter said in December. Valeant agreed to sell $2.1 billion in assets in two deals a month later, offloading three skin-care brands to cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA and its Dendreon Pharmaceuticals unit to China’s Sanpower Group Co.

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