Roller-coaster week for Valeant

By Tracey Arial

Last week was a rollercoaster ride for the Laval-based pharmaceutical company Valeant. The company is trying to take-over Botox- and Darpin-maker Allergan. Allergan’s current managers are fighting hard to prevent the deal.

Valeant got bad news on Wednesday, when Allergan notified the stock market that it has discussions about a merger with a third company, Dublin-based Actavis. The notification increased Allergan’s stock price to more than $197.

Valeant responded with a claim that it would be willing to increase its offer to $200 a share under a fair sales process, such as an auction. The offer would be significantly higher than its initial bid of less than $60.

Good news came for Valeant on Thursday, when a U.S. judge refused Allergan’s request to ban Valeant and its partner Pershing, which owns 10 per cent of Allergan’s stock, from voting together at a special shareholder’s meeting on Dec. 18. Pershing hopes to oust most of Allergan’s current board members at this meeting, something that would make a merger with Valeant more likely.

On Friday, Valeant decided to reach out directly to plastic surgeons and dermatologists who use Botox or Darpin. A hundred doctors were surveyed in July, and 44 of them cited concerns about potential cost-cutting, reduced research and development and the loss of customer service under a Valeant take-over.

The letter said in part:

Our philosophy on integration has been developed through our positive experience with Bausch+Lomb. 

Following our acquisition a year ago in August, we made an effort to maintain relationships and invest in customer activities—we made no U.S. sales force cuts whatsoever. 

We were collaborative on all major issues and gave B+L’s business leaders the autonomy to make their own integration decisions. 

Importantly, we made sure their leaders understood and enjoyed Valeant’s unique and highly effective culture. 

These efforts have allowed us to maintain strong customer relationships, garner widespread employee satisfaction and continue accelerating organic growth across the business.

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