Valeant CEO Seeks Acquisitions in High-Growth Health Care

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) Inc., Canada’s largest drugmaker, said it is seeking acquisitions in opthalmology, dermatology and dentistry.

These areas “are growing faster than the overall growth rate of health care,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Pearson said in an interview on Bloomberg Television today.

Pearson, who took the helm of Valeant in 2008, has spent at least $19 billion buying more than 35 companies as he works toward his goal of making Valeant one of the world’s top five drugmakers by the end of 2016. The $8.7 billion purchase of eyecare company Bausch & Lomb Inc. last year, his biggest to date, added contact lens brand Optima to Valeant’s roster that include the Fraxel laser treatment for skin care and Zovirax for cold sores.

Valeant’s shares have jumped almost tenfold to more than $140 in New York when he took over six years ago as investors have warmed to his acquisition-fueled pledge. That has lifted the market value of the Laval, Quebec-based company which trades in Toronto and New York to about $47 billion, making it the fifth-largest company in Canada as of yesterday.

Valeant remains much smaller than the companies Pearson aims to replicate. Sanofi, the current fifth-largest drugmaker in the world, has a market value of about $134 billion.

Valeant fell 1.6 percent to $141.82 at 10:49 a.m. in New York today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net; Caroline Chen in New York at cchen509@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Rabil at srabil@bloomberg.net Bruce Rule, Jacqueline Thorpe

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