- Specialty pharma Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it will change its name to Bausch Health Companies Inc. as part of a turnaround effort aimed at shaking a reputation marred by accounting scandals and criticism of price hikes on its drugs.
- The new name will take effect in July, and the company will then begin trading under the ticker symbol BHC on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange.
- "Now is the right time in our turnaround to unite our company's core businesses, subsidiaries and brands under the Bausch Health name," said CEO Joe Papa in a statement. "We believe Bausch Health Companies more accurately represents the full scope of the company today — a leader in the development and manufacture of a wide range of pharmaceutical, medical device and over-the-counter products, primarily in the therapeutic areas of eye health, gastroenterology and dermatology."
Valeant revealed its new name along with reporting earnings for the first quarter. As has become typical for the company over the last few years, Valeant reported a disappointing quarter, with a net loss of $2.7 billion. All three of its main reporting business segments recorded declining year-on-year growth. And overall revenue fell 5% to $1.9 billion from the same period a year ago.
Still, Valeant management claimed the quarter's performance represented "significant progress in our turnaround."
The company pointed out that revenues grew organically — or excluding the impact of divestitures, discontinuations and the like — for the first time since 2015.
Valeant was once a Wall Street darling, praised for its growth-through-acquisition strategy. But internal scandals and an over-leveraged business brought an end to rising share prices, sending the company's stock tumbling. After previous management was ousted, former Perrigo CEO Joe Papa came on to right the ship. Two years on, though, Valeant is still fighting a bad reputation and underperforming business units.
To help its turnaround, the company has sold off assets to help pay down debt, completing more than a dozen divestitures and reducing its indebtedness by 20%. The name change, while more cosmetic, is the latest move the company has made to distance itself from the business strategies of its recent past.
Papa noted on a Tuesday morning call with analysts that the company assessed a variety of name changes and landed on the Bausch name in order to invoke feelings of "innovation and quality." The company will also roll out a new website and branding along with the name change in July.