UPDATE 2-Valeant to appoint three new directors as soon as Wednesday - sources

Tue Mar 8, 2016 6:59pm EST
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(Adds date of new appointments to first paragraph, Valeant declining to comment)

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Carl O'Donnell

NEW YORK, March 8 (Reuters) - Embattled drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, whose stock price has tumbled 38 percent this year, will appoint three new board members as soon as Wednesday, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The drug maker will award one of the seats to Pershing Square Capital Management, one of its biggest investors, two people familiar with the matter said.

Stephen Fraidin, a veteran Wall Street lawyer who is vice chairman at William Ackman's Pershing Square, is expected to join Valeant's 12-member board, the sources said.

The company is also expected to give a seat to Fredric Eshelman, a long-time pharmaceutical industry executive, as well as one other person, adding a total of three new directors, the sources said. Valeant declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Valeant was considering adding board members.

The move comes after a particularly rocky few weeks in which Valeant said it would restate its earnings, its chief executive officer returned from a lengthy sick leave, it postponed a scheduled earnings statement and acknowledged that the country's top securities regulator is investigating the company.

It also marks a dramatic shift for Pershing Square, which made the investment as a rare passive bet, saying a year ago that it believed in Valeant's management and policy of favoring acquisitions over in-house research.   Continued...