JPM 2022: Bausch + Lomb files IPO for its eye care spinout

At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, CEO Joseph Papa said that preparations for the company's three-way split are "substantially complete" and will result in Bausch + Lomb, Bausch Pharma and Solta Medical. (Bruno Henrique/Pixabay)

Nearly 18 months after announcing plans to spin out its eye health business, Bausch + Lomb has filed the paperwork for an IPO on both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.

The move will create a pure-play venture carrying the company’s well-known international brands of contact lenses and vision care products such as its Biotrue daily disposables and solution as well as its intraocular lens surgery equipment and portfolio of ophthalmic drugs for dry eye, glaucoma and macular degeneration. CEO Joseph Papa offered a preview of the company's plans this week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. 

According to the company’s prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bausch + Lomb’s revenues totaled about $2.76 billion for the first nine months of 2021 and $3.41 billion for the full year of 2020. The resulting company will be domiciled in Quebec, while its U.S. corporate offices would be located in New Jersey. The pricing terms for the IPO have not yet been disclosed.

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The company’s parent, Bausch Health—formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, prior to a 2018 rebranding to drop its tainted name—first revealed plans to release its eye care business in August 2020, allowing the remainder of the company to focus on its pharmaceuticals in gastroenterology and neurology. Valeant had acquired Bausch + Lomb in 2013 for $8.7 billion.

Through a yearslong, multiphase plan to stabilize the company, Bausch Health divested about “$4 billion of noncore assets, paid down over $8 billion of debt, resolved numerous legacy legal issues and managed a loss of exclusivity on an approximately $1.4 billion product portfolio, while also investing in R&D, new product launches­­ and core franchises,” Papa said in a 2020 statement

And, almost exactly a year after announcing the eye care spinout, Bausch outlined plans for another. Its $300 million aesthetics devices division, Solta Medical, would separately head to the Nasdaq to help further chip away at the company’s past debts and $350 million owed to holders of outstanding senior notes.

RELATED: A $1.2B investor payoff? Just part of Bausch's long Valeant goodbye

Now, during his presentation at JPM, Papa said planning and preparations for both the Bausch + Lomb and Solta IPOs are “substantially complete” and will move forward quickly “when market conditions are right for each of them.” The next steps include the public filing of a prospectus for Solta, maker of dermatology-focused lasers and other hardware, plus the official launches of both stock offerings.

The third company to emerge from the split-up plan—the remaining assets to be named Bausch Pharma—gathered an estimated $4.2 billion in revenue for the 12-month period through September 2021, with more than 600 products sold in over 70 countries. 

Papa will serve as CEO of the Bausch + Lomb eye care business, while Thomas Appio will hold the title for Bausch Pharma. Solta’s CEO will be Scott Hirsch.