(Bloomberg Opinion) — The Valeant era may truly be nearing an end for Bausch Health Health Cos. with the planned spinoff of its eponymous Bausch+ Lomb eye-care unit, announced Thursday.
Bausch, which changed its name in 2018, became a Wall Street darling then pariah and corporate problem child under its prior moniker — Valeant Pharmaceuticals Ltd. — as a result of aggressive business practices and a massive debt-fueled acquisition spree led by ex-chief Michael Pearson and championed by investor Bill Ackman. The business has stabilized under new management, to its credit. But long-term damage remains, and not just in the form of lingering legal issues. The company’s past left it as a strange amalgam of branded and generic drugs, dermatology products, and a profitable and pedigreed eye-care business, all hampered by an enormous pile of debt.
The spinoff offers a better and more focused future for both the eye-care and