UPDATE 1-JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America to lead Bausch & Lomb IPO -sources
NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup to lead an initial public offering of eye care company Bausch & Lomb, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The proposed IPO could raise as much as $1.5 billion, and is expected to value Bausch and Lomb at about $9 billion to $10 billion, according to one of the people, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Warburg Pincus continues to explore a potential sale of the eye care company it took private more than five years ago, and is working with Goldman Sachs to find a buyer, the person added.
Representatives for Warburg Pincus, Bank of America and Citigroup declined to comment. JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 1853, Rochester, New York-based Bausch & Lomb makes contact lenses, eye drugs and surgical equipment and sells its products in more than 100 countries.
The company was taken private by Warburg Pincus in 2007 for about $4.5 billion, including $830 million of debt, after it fell out of Wall Street's favor because of product recalls, big charges and restatements of earnings. Warburg Pincus committed over $1 billion of equity toward the buyout.
Bloomberg News reported the hiring of JPMorgan as one of the lead underwriters earlier on Friday.