REFILE-UPDATE 3-Valeant shares slide on news of probe by U.S. SEC

Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:17pm EST
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(Corrects spelling of Commission in first paragraph)

By Ankur Banerjee and Carl O'Donnell

Feb 29 (Reuters) - Shares in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc fell as much as 21 percent on Monday after the embattled 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 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.

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

The stock has been see-sawing for the past month, often gaining or losing 5 percent or more in intraday trading, as speculation has swirled about its future.   Continued...