Spain's Almirall eyes embattled Valeant's dermatology assets

Troubled Valeant may have a buyer to help it pull off some of the asset sales it’s been touting as it looks to cut down its debt pile.

Spain’s Almirall, for one, is eyeing some of the company’s meds, CEO Eduardo Sanchiz told Reuters--though the sales process is still in the early going.

"We're still in very initial stages but there are things that could interest us. We're studying the situation but waiting for more information," he told the news service.

Valeant ($VRX) has been tossing around the idea of casting off non-core assets for awhile now, and some of its dermatology assets reportedly fall under that umbrella. Back in May, Bloomberg reported that the Canadian drugmaker was weighing a sale of 2013 skincare buy Obagi Medical Products, and Solta Medical--another 2013 acquisition--is said to be on the block, too.

And on the other side, Almirall has been building up its own dermatology business after selling off its respiratory business to AstraZeneca ($AZN). Last November, it picked up Poli Group for 365 million ($407 million) to add nail disorder products to its stable, and it followed up by snagging aesthetic dermatology player Thermigen in January for $80 million.

If Valeant does sell, though, it may be looking at a net loss on Obagi and Solta, which it bought for $418 million and $250 million, respectively. Industry-watchers expect the pair to net no more than $500 million in a sale, Bidness ETC says.

But Valeant may not be in much of a position to bargain in the wake of debt-default worries that sent share prices plummeting. A debt mountain the company built up under former skipper J. Michael Pearson--a serial dealmaker--triggered whispers of a forthcoming bankruptcy when delayed financial filings earlier this year threw Valeant’s credit agreements into jeopardy.

New helmsman Joseph Papa, though, has said the company doesn’t “need to sell anything”--although he’s certainly expressed interest in the proposition. Aside from helping pay down debt, sales would make Valeant’s business less complex, he said recently, and the way he sees it, that’s a very good thing.

- get more from Reuters
- see Bidness ETC's take

Special Report: The most influential people in biopharma today - 2016 - J. Michael Pearson - Valeant

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