Monday, March 15, 2010

So -- It's Now A Private (Junk-Grade), Highly Levered, Recall-Ridden, Lingering-Lawsuit Magnet -- In Optical-Consumer Health?

Do I have that (about) right?

This is Mr. Hassan's red-rose-bouquet winning encore? At a junk-grade, privately-held (mostly-captive to private equity), levered-up, less than $2.1 billion a year company, with under 10,000 employees? And his handlers/bosses -- at Warbug Pincus still own a majority -- of Bausch & Lomb? Wow.

Some gig, eh? ["No, thanks -- really, I'm tryin' to quit."]

Here's the background, from a May 2007 article -- archived at CBS

. . . .Standard & Poor's downgraded its rating on Bausch & Lomb's debt to junk in the wake of the private equity deal, saying "management's willingness to aggressively increase leverage to this extent is not commensurate with an investment-grade rating." The agency also placed Bausch & Lomb on CreditWatch with negative implications, meaning it may cut the rating further. . . .

In some ways, it all seems so familiar -- just so much smaller.

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