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Valeant's president quits; staff cuts loom

April 02, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the developer of a novel drug for epilepsy, said Tuesday that its president had quit and that it might have to fire staff and sell assets.

Valeant President Charles J. Bramlage resigned last week and "has agreed to assist the company with transition matters over the coming weeks," the Costa Mesa-based company said in a regulatory filing.

The company's "poor 2007 financial performance was a natural consequence of trying to be a global company in too many geographies with too many products," J. Michael Pearson, who was appointed chief executive in February, said in an investor presentation last week.

Valeant, whose products include Virazole to treat respiratory infections in infants and the Efudex skin treatment, will reduce its "overextended geographic footprint" and "questionable resource allocation," Pearson said.

Valeant said it didn't know how much the firings or asset sales would cost.

"The company intends to focus on core geographies and businesses, seek partners for certain product candidates in development and make selective acquisitions," according to the regulatory filing.

Costs associated with Valeant's strategic plan are expected to be "material" and to affect earnings this year and next.

Valeant shares rose 45 cents, or 3.5%, to $13.28.

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