Bill Ackman: Valeant is ‘not selling Bausch & Lomb’

Bill Ackman
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Under-fire drug giant Valeant Pharmaceuticals International won't put Bausch & Lomb on the block, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC.

"It's a core asset," Ackman said. "We're only considering selling non-core assets."

On Wednesday, the activist investor and long-time Valeant stakeholder told an investor call that he expected to make back his losses on the drug company, which has had a disastrous six months, including accounting misstatements and concerns over its ties to specialty pharmacy Philidor.

Ackman's fund, Pershing Square, has lost about $1 billion on Valeant since taking a stake in March 2015. The stock closed up 3.9 percent at $35.51 on Thursday ET but is currently down more than 86 percent from an August 2015 high of $262.52 and fell as low as $26.11 last week.

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Ackman joined the board in March, at the same time as the Canadian company ousted chief executive Mike Pearson.

A week earlier the company had slashed its 2016 revenue forecast and delayed filing its annual report. It had also come under fire after The New York Times reported that Valeant was among a number of drug companies that used a network of specialty pharmacies to prevent patients from switching to cheaper medications.

Before joining the board, Ackman had broached the possibility of selling the Bausch & Lomb eye-care business, telling Bloomberg on March 9 that Bausch & Lomb was a "very valuable standalone business" that Valeant could possibly sell a piece of to pay down debt.

In an interview with Reuters, he called Bausch & Lomb one of Valeant's "crown jewels."

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