Valeant to sell assets for $2.12 billion to ease debt load

Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:46pm EST
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By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Ankur Banerjee

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO: Quote) is selling its Dendreon cancer treatment business and three skincare brands for $2.12 billion as the troubled Canadian drugmaker looks to reduce more than $30 billion in debt.

Valeant's U.S.-listed shares (VRX.N: Quote) rose as much as 14 percent on Tuesday, before paring gains to 5.7 percent at $16.22 in afternoon trading. Its bonds also moved higher.

The company is trying to regain investor confidence after its stock plunged over the past year amid disclosures that it worked secretly with a specialty pharmacy to boost sales of its medicines.

Laval, Quebec-based Valeant has been the subject of recent investigations by congressional panels as well as the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

French cosmetics group L'Oreal (OREP.PA: Quote) is buying CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi from Valeant for about $1.3 billion in cash.

Valeant is also selling its Dendreon unit to China's Sanpower Group Co Ltd [SPGCL.UL] for $819.9 million.

Valeant had acquired the bankrupt Dendreon in 2015 for about $300 million.

"We think these two assets we sold today certainly go a long way toward helping us," Valeant Chief Executive Joseph Papa said in an interview on CNBC.   Continued...

A customer walks past a cosmetics display of French cosmetics group L'Oreal in Nice, France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo