Valeant shares slide on news of probe by U.S. SEC

Tue Mar 1, 2016 12:15am EST
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By Ankur Banerjee and Carl O'Donnell

(Reuters) - Shares in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc fell as much as 21 percent on Monday after the drugmaker revealed that it was under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Valeant confirms that it has several ongoing investigations, including investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Massachusetts and the Southern District of New York, the SEC, and Congress," said Laurie Little, a Valeant spokeswoman.

She said the company confirmed that it "received a subpoena from the SEC in the fourth quarter of 2015 and, in the normal course, would have included this disclosure in its 2015 10-K. We do not have further detail to provide at this time."

The company's U.S.-traded shares fell 18.4 percent to close at $65.80 per share.

The SEC probe is separate from an existing investigation into a company purchased last year by Valeant, Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, according to a person familiar with the matter.

News of the probe came a day after the Canadian company canceled the release of fourth-quarter earnings, withdrew 2016 financial guidance and said its chief executive had returned from medical leave.

Valeant then attempted to hold a conference call with sell side analysts but later backed out after news of the call was leaked to members of the press, according to people familiar with the matter.

News that the call had been scheduled was first reported by Bloomberg. The cancellation was first reported by CNBC.   Continued...

The headquarters of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., seen in Laval, Quebec November 9 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi