UPDATE 3-Valeant eyes smaller deals to build on Salix, Dendreon purchases

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:54pm EST
 
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(Adds shareholder comments, other details)

By Rod Nickel

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc plans to strike smaller deals to build on its acquisitions of Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and assets of Dendreon Corp, its chief executive said on Monday.

Laval, Quebec-based Valeant announced the $10.1 billion cash offer for Salix, known for its drug Xifaxan to treat irritable bowel syndrome, on Sunday.

Valeant shares were up nearly 14 percent at $196.65 in New York and C$247.54 in Toronto on Monday. Shares of Salix dipped 1.2 percent to $155.90.

Valeant's largest-ever purchase ends a pause in major acquisitions by the deal-making company during its lengthy, failed pursuit last year of Allergan Inc.

"What it does do is expand the opportunities available to the company," CEO Michael Pearson said on a conference call. "We now have two new important therapeutic areas (and) continue to increase the number of targets out there."

Valeant will pay $158 per Salix share and is near completion of its $495 million asset purchase from bankrupt Dendreon, a cancer vaccine maker.

Cheap capital and Valeant's low tax rate make the deal appealing and allow the company to build on its strength - reducing costs, said Peter Mann, portfolio manager of Gluskin Sheff + Associates, which owns Valeant shares.   Continued...