Monday, March 14, 2016

Whew! Valeant Shareholders Just Dodged A Bullet! WSJ: "Fast Fred" Was Lobbying To Become CEO, There!? Yikes!

Some times, this stuff just. . . writes itself. Today is one of those "easy to riff -- stories a go-go" days. "Fast Fred" was angling to cut his old pal J. Michael Pearson out of his seat, at Valeant? Color me. . . completely unsurprised.

[Back when Mr. Pearson was a highly-paid consultant (with one of the preeminent life science management consulting firms in the world) he was the "go-to guy," for legacy Schering-Plough, and was a reliable friend and supporter of one Fred Hassan -- of this we have been repeatedly reliably informed, over the last seven years.] How the worm turns, eh, Mr. Hassan?

Were I a betting man, given large shareholder Pershing Square's Bill Ackman having put a deputy on the Valeant board -- I would have been surprised if that guy would have wanted Fast "Debt-Loader" Hassan1 -- as the new CEO. Very surprised. And Pearson is slated to announce earnings (delayed) before market open tomorrow. Now we will be transfixed!

In any event, here is FiercePharma, channeling the Wall Street Journal:

. . . .At one point, the company's board -- which talked with a slate of potential CEO replacements -- was leaning toward ousting Pearson, The Wall Street Journal reports. And former Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher, interim Valeant CEO Howard Schiller, and former Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan, who also had served as chairman of Valeant subsidiary Bausch & Lomb, were on the short list to fill his shoes. . . . [but no.]

Whew. Be thankful for the little things, people -- truly. Truly. I'm out -- for tonight, with emerald eyes, ever ablaze. . . .


1. Back when Fred Hassan, and Warburg Pincus, took B + L private, its debt was a modest $820 million. Immediately prior to the Valeant acquisition, B + L's standalone debt weighed in at $4.2 billion (over a five-fold increase -- most of the last billion dollars of that used to pay Warburg Pincus over $750 million in cash dividends). Ugh. Now you know. . . .

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