In a new chairman, Bloomberg Health Cos. has named hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, replacing Joseph Papa, who resigned on Thursday.
Papa's resignation was not a result of any dispute or disagreement, according to the pharmaceutical and device company, which focuses on eye care, gastroenterology and dermatology products. Paulson, who is the second-largest shareholder of the company, starts immediately.
Bausch's shares gained 3% in late trading to $7.49 a share at 6: 30 p.m. in New York. The Canadian company was once known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals. In 2018 it was rebranded in the wake of public outcry over drug price hikes and the conviction of a former executive for accepting a bribe.
Its shares have fallen this year, declining more than 70% by Thursday s close, due to the suspension of a planned spinoff of its skin-care business. That is much steeper than the 16% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same period. The company spun off of its eye-care unit, Bausch Lomb Corp. earlier this year.
Paulson said in a statement from Bausch Health that we have made progress towards the separation of Bausch Lomb. We will increase our focus on future growth and profitability as we capitalize on our expertise and commercial scale to expand market share globally. We are committed to taking decisive actions to unlock shareholder value and harness Bausch Health's full potential. Paulson, 66, is worth $4.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is famous for pulling off one of the most successful trades in history, when he bet against the US housing market before the 2008 financial crisis.
When the subprime mortgage bonds collapsed, the hedge-fund manager made $20 billion for himself and investors. His investment firm, Paulson Co. Inc., ventured into different areas but eventually stumbled. He said in 2020 that he would turn his firm into a family office in which he manages his own money.
Paulson's stake in Bausch was worth about $188 million at the end of trading Thursday. According to Bloomberg data, he owns nearly 26 million shares, or 7.2% of the total shares outstanding.
He was previously on the board of directors at Bausch from June 2017 to May 2022, according to the company. Bausch didn't give any more details about Papa's split with the company.
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