Valeant Pharmaceuticals Sells Assets to Pay Down Debt

After months of telling investors it planned to sell non-core assets and use the proceeds to de-lever its bloated balance sheet, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc. (TSX:VRX)(NYSE:VRX) is finally doing just that. The company announced two different asset sales on Tuesday.

The first was selling three skin-care brands to L’Oreal SA -- CerAve, AcneFree and Ambi -- for $1.3 billion U.S. The three brands have combined sales of about $170 million U.S.

The second sale was the company’s Dendreon Pharmaceuticals subsidiary to Sanpower Group, a Chinese conglomerate. The purchase price was $820 million U.S. Sanpower will gain control over Provenge, a treatment for prostate cancer. Provenge is Dendreon’s only commercially viable medicine.

Valeant bought Dendreon for $445 million U.S. in a bankruptcy auction back in 2015.

Analysts were overwhelmingly bullish on the prices received for both assets. Valeant shares surged as much as 13% in pre-market trading, but gave some of those gains back. Shares are up a little over 6% in early afternoon trading.

Valeant likely isn’t finished selling, either. The company’s debt currently sits at over $30 billion U.S.. The $2.1 billion U.S. gained from these two sales will be put directly towards debt, which is a good first step. But the company has a long way to go.

Next on the auction block will likely be Valeant’s Salix gastrointestinal drugs division, which was close to being sold last year before the deal fell apart. Salix could be worth more than $10 billion U.S.