UPDATE 3-Canada's Valeant on hunt for more deals, posts loss

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:26am EST
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* Drugmaker's 4th-qtr loss equals 29 cents a share

* Revenue up 43 pct; product sales rise 45 pct

* CEO says company open to "merger of equals"

By Rod Nickel

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc is in talks to make more acquisitions, its chief executive said on Thursday, adding that Canada's largest publicly traded drugmaker also remains open to discuss a potential "merger of equals."

Valeant has made about a dozen deals for smaller companies or assets over the past year, including the $2.6 billion purchase of U.S.-based Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corp in December.

Valeant's shares and revenue have soared, although it posted a quarterly loss on Thursday due to costs related to the Medicis acquisition.

"We continue to be in active conversations for both large and small deals, but the timing of deals is unpredictable," CEO Michael Pearson said on a conference call with analysts to discuss the fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Pearson repeated a comment he made in early January that Valeant is open to a "merger of equals."   Continued...