Valeant Pharmaceuticals International cuts revenue forecast

The Canadian drugmaker cut its 2016 forecast by about 12% causing shares to plunge

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has cut its 2016 revenue forecast by about 12 percent and said a delay in filing its annual report could mean a debt default, causing its shares to plunge.

Valeant, which has incurred a heavy debt load because of a string of acquisitions, is now looking to sell some non-core assets, chief executive Michael Pearson said, without being specific.

The Canadian drugmaker, the target of US investigations into its business and accounting practices, reiterated it would put off filing its annual report with US regulators but for the first time raised the spectre of a default. Valeant, whose US-listed shares fell 45 per cent in the first few hours of US trading, said failure to file the report by Tuesday’s deadline would put it in breach of a covenant in credit agreements and that holders of at least 25 per cent of any series of notes may deliver a notice of default.

A default could prompt lenders to demand faster repayment and place restrictions on Valeant's ability to borrow further. Pearson said his best estimate for filing the annual report was April.

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As of September 30th, Valeant had about $30 billion of long-term debt. The firm said it would repay at least $1.7 billion this year, down from an earlier forecast of $2.25 billion. However, Mr Pearson said he was “comfortable” with the firm’s liquidity and expected Valeant to meet its obligations. “Our business is not operating on all cylinders, but we are committed to getting it back on track,” said Mr Pearson.

The company said last month it would delay filing its annual report while a board committee looked into its accounting practices. It also said it would restate 2014 and 2015 financial statements.

Valeant’s troubles mounted late last year when questions were raised about its drug pricing and allegations emerged that it was using distributor Philidor RX Services to inflate dermatology revenue.– (Reuters)