Meet the new Valeant: Drugmaker drops tainted name to become Bausch Health in July rebrand

valeant
Valeant will become Bausch Health Companies in July. (Valeant)

Market watchers and Valeant investors have seen no shortage of changes at the company during its storied collapse. Now, the drugmaker is getting a new name to press ahead.  

After reviewing the names of internal brands and new options, the company chose to go with Bausch Health Companies. In a statement, CEO Joseph Papa said the rebrand is part of a "major step forward in our transformation." 

Along with the name change will come a fresh brand identity, the company said. It'll take the new moniker in July and trade under the ticker BHC. 

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Under mounting public relations and business pressures a year ago, Papa said Valeant was eyeing a name change. That followed former big investor William Ackman's suggestion that the company could rebrand to help improve its reputation. Since that advice in November 2016, Ackman has bowed out of his Valeant investment, recording a $4 billion loss.

RELATED: Valeant, looking for a reputation fix, could change its name, Ackman says 

Valeant shares have lost more than 90% of their value from a high point of $257 in July 2015.  

Bausch Health Companies is a nod to the company's key brands of eye company Bausch & Lomb, picked up for $8.7 billion in 2013. Valeant was on an acquisition binge for years, racking up tens of billions of dollars in debt before its business model—including growth by M&A, huge price hikes and a murky specialty pharmacy relationship—came under fire. Congressional hearings, plus federal and state probes, followed. 

Papa came on board in May 2016 and has worked to reduce the company's debt to $25.44 billion at the end of 2017, down from more than $30 billion.  

RELATED: We asked, you brainstormed: Witty, insulting and serious nominees for Valeant's new name

On Tuesday, after news of the name change, Valeant's shares jumped 14%. 

Meanwhile, the issue with Valeant's relationship to now-defunct specialty pharmacy Philidor is playing out in court at the trial of former executives accused of enriching themselves at the expense of shareholders. 

The company announced the name change alongside its first-quarter results on Tuesday. For the period, it generated $2 billion in sales, a 5% decrease from the same period last year. Its net loss for the quarter was $2.28 billion, which the company attributed to lower volumes for certain products, patent losses and goodwill impairment charges.

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