July 13, 2016 / 6:12 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Citron's Left to go short on Valeant again - TheStreet

(Adds Valeant's statement)

July 13 (Reuters) - Andrew Left, who runs short-selling firm Citron Research, is planning to take a short position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc again, TheStreet reported.

Left's comments come a day after Sequoia Fund, which once was Valeant's largest shareholder, said it exited its position in the embattled Canadian drugmaker last month.

"They've sat down, and they've seen and they've interviewed and they walked," Left told TheStreet in an interview, adding that Sequoia has much more of an insider take into the company than the public.

"The fact they're selling tells everything," TheStreet quoted Left as saying. (bit.ly/29yH3O3)

Valeant has been under intense scrutiny for its business and accounting practices, sending its shares plummeting 91 percent from the record high of $263.81 it touched last August.

The drugmaker's troubles started after Citron accused it in October of using specialty pharmacies to inflate revenue.

The company has since shut down the specialty pharmacy.

Valeant, which appointed Joe Papa to replace Michael Pearson as CEO in May, has said it is open to selling major assets as the company tries to reduce its massive debt load of more than $30 billion.

Pearson, who led Valeant since 2008, sold nearly 5 million shares and options for a total of $96.8 million, CNBC reported, citing documents. (cnb.cx/29XNVcZ)

Valeant later on Wednesday confirmed that Pearson had exercised certain options that were due to expire.

Under his contract, Pearson is required to hold one million shares for two years following termination of employment and continues to retain a significant ownership position in Valeant, the company said.

Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc, the investment firm that runs the Sequoia Fund was sued earlier this year by shareholders, who claimed it recklessly took a huge stake in Valeant, causing more than $2 billion in losses.

"Valeant was our largest position to start the year and its 80 percent decline through June 30 badly penalized our results," Sequoia Fund said in a letter dated July 12. (bit.ly/29Hc6eV)

Valeant's US-listed shares were down 7.2 percent at $21.55 in late afternoon trading. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)

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