* Pacific Equity Partners, Carlyle Group to buy iNova unit
* Deal expected to close in H2 2017
* Valeant's U.S.-listed shares rise 3.5 pct premarket
June 8 Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
said it would sell its iNova Pharmaceuticals
business for $930 million, as Chief Executive Officer Joseph
Papa steps up efforts to slash the embattled Canadian
drugmaker's huge debt pile.
The company's U.S.-listed shares were up about 3.5 percent
at $12.60 in premarket trading on Thursday.
INova, which Valeant bought in 2011 from Australian private
equity firms Archer Capital and Ironbridge, will be sold to a
company jointly owned by Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle
Group LP, Valeant said.
Valeant's long-term debt climbed to more than $30 billion
after a furious spate of deal-making under former CEO Mike
Pearson, whom Papa replaced in April last year.
Pearson's acquisition spree sent shares from the $20 range
to $257 in 2015, before the stock went into a tailspin as
Valeant's pricing strategy and ties to a specialty pharmacy led
to broader political and regulatory scrutiny.
Under Papa's stewardship, the company is focusing on its
dermatology, eye care and gastrointestinal units while pruning
other assets to repay its towering debt, which stood at $28.54
billion as of March 31.
Last month, Papa told shareholders that the company is on
pace to meet its target of repaying $5 billion in debt between
August 2016 and February 2018.
The deal to buy iNova — which markets prescription and
over-the-counter products focused on weight and pain management,
cardiology and cough and cold — is expected to close in the
second half of this year.
Goldman Sachs & Co was Valeant's financial adviser, while
Baker McKenzie was its legal adviser.
Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that Valeant was involved in
talks to sell its Bausch & Lomb unit's surgical products
business to Germany's Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
(Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak