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Bausch + Lomb eyes AU$1.2 billion in IPO

Ophthalmic giant Bausch + Lomb (B+L), which is being spun-off from its parent as a pure-play eye health company, has filed to raise up to US$840 million (AU$1.2 billion) in an initial public offering (IPO).

On Thursday 28 April, the company announced its plan to sell 35 million shares for US$21-24 (AU$29-34) each. It has applied to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the ticker ‘BLCO’.

It comes after an August 2020 announcement that B+L would become its own independent publicly traded entity that would consist of contact lenses and solutions, ophthalmic surgical, consumer and prescription businesses.

This would be separated from the remainder of the Bausch Health business comprising a diversified pharmaceutical company with leading positions in gastroenterology aesthetics/dermatology, neurology and international pharmaceuticals.

In its latest IPO announcement, B+L said it would not receive any of the proceeds from the IPO.

Following this, its parent company Bausch Health, together with its subsidiaries, is expected to hold approximately 90% of the common shares of B+L, or 88.5% of the common shares if an underwriters’ over-allotment option is exercised in full.

At the top of the price range, B+L would have a market value of $8.4 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its filing, Bloomberg reported.

According to the company’s prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, B+L’s revenues totalled about US$2.76 billion (AU$3.83 b) for the first nine months of 2021 and US$3.41 (AU$4.74 b) billion for the full year of 2020.

With a 170-year history, it has a portfolio of more than 400 eye-related products. It also has a significant global research, development, manufacturing and commercial footprint of approximately 12,500 employees and a presence in approximately 100 countries.

“We believe we have a significant innovation opportunity today, with a substantial pipeline of over 100 projects in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development, including new contact lenses, contact lenses to slow myopia progress in children, prescription medications for myopia, next-generation cataract equipment, premium IOLs, investigational treatments for dry eye and preservative-free formulations of a range of eye drops, among others, that are designed to grow our portfolio and accelerate future growth,” the company’s prospectus stated.

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