The activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he has bought 27.8 million shares in Bausch Health, becoming the largest shareholder with a 7.83 percent stake.
Following the news, Bausch Health issued a statement saying that its board and management “welcome open communication with our shareholders and constructive input toward the shared goal of enhancing shareholder value.”
The company said that it continually reviews its “strategic priorities and capital allocation to evaluate opportunities to maximize long-term shareholder value.”
It reiterated its intention to spin off its eye-health unit Bausch + Lomb into an independent publicly traded entity “to unlock what we believe is unrecognized value in Bausch Health.”
It noted that it exited 2020 with “solid momentum, outperforming the high end of our guidance by generating revenue that exceeded $2.2 billion and delivering strong adjusted Ebitda and cash flows.” Bausch Health added that it is focusing on key growth drivers and catalysts to grow Ebitda, improve working capital and deleverage.
Another Bausch shareholder, Larry Robbins, welcomed Carl Icahn’s arrival. Robbins bought a position in the company in 2018 through Glenview Capital Management. He claims to have privately expressed concern to Bausch about its high debt, but little has been done.