- Screengrab via YouTube
Joseph Papa has been on the job for just three weeks, but the new CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals has some big questions to answer about the embattled company.
Of those, a big one is whether Valeant will start to sell assets to pay down its massive debt pile.
Papa addressed the issue Monday at the UBS Global Healthcare Conference, making sure to remind everyone that he wasn’t in desperate need of cash while also leaving open the opportunity that sales or spin-offs could happen.
“I don’t need to sell anything,” he said. Bloomberg last week reported that the company was considering selling some of its cancer and dermatology products to pay down its debt.
Shareholder Bill Ackman has also suggested that the company spin off a stake in Bausch & Lomb to force investors to recognize its real value, which is Ackman’s eyes is much higher than Valeant’s current stock price.
Still, Papas isn’t ruling anything out either.
“There will be some places where we’ll have to make some decisions on what’s core,” he said.
Valeant announced last week that it would be increasing its discount to hospitals for certain heart medications – Nitropress and Isuprel – to up to 40%. When asked about the discounts and the price increases that provoked them, Papa called the price increases a mistake.
“Did we do that? Yes. Was it a mistake? Yes.”