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Bausch Health plans IPO for medical aesthetics business to cut debt

08/03/2021 | 08:46am EDT

(Reuters) -Bausch Health Cos Inc said on Tuesday it planned to pursue an initial public offering of its medical aesthetics business Solta Medical, as the company looks to further cut debt and hasten the spin-off of eye care unit Bausch + Lomb.

The Canadian drugmaker, previously known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, has been shedding non-core assets to pay down debt, which piled up due to aggressive deal-making under former Chief Executive Officer Mike Pearson.

Bausch said in March it would sell its entire stake in Egypt's Amoun Pharmaceutical Co SAE and last year announced plans to spin off Bausch + Lomb.

Solta's IPO will now create three companies including Bausch + Lomb and Bausch's drug products business Bausch Pharma.

Solta, which reported 2020 revenue of $253 million, offers anti-aging laser skin treatments such as Clear + Brilliant and is part of Bausch's ortho dermatologics business.

The company's current chief strategy officer and president of its ortho dermatologics unit Scott Hirsch has been named as the chief executive officer of Solta, Bausch said.

The IPO, expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first half of 2022, will unlock the value of Solta and give Bausch ownership of an entity that will compare more favorably to other medical aesthetic companies, the drugmaker said.

As a publicly traded company, Solta will be domiciled in Canada and there are plans for it to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, Bausch said.

Davis, Polk & Wardwell in the United States and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Canada are acting as lead legal counsels for the IPO.

As of June 30, Bausch Health had total long-term debt of $23.69 billion, down from $24.19 billion in December.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)

© Reuters 2021
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