Part of the healthcare sector, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX), is a specialty pharmaceutical company, operating in multiple countries. Valeant manufactures and markets a large bouquet of pharmaceutical products. Primary areas of focus include eye health, dermatology, neurology and generically branded medications, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Valeant operates through two segments – developed markets and emerging markets. Operations of the former include the sale of OTC products and of pharmaceutical products sold in the United States. The emerging market segment’s primary operation is the sale of generic-branded pharmaceutical products, OTC products and medical devices. Most of Valeant’s sales focus is directed at North America, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Valeant maintains manufacturing sites in Canada, Poland, Mexico and Brazil.

Since its founding in 1994, Valeant has gained some undesirable attention as a pharmaceutical powerhouse that gains brands through acquiring smaller or failing companies, pushes these products through into its own supply stream, then considerably raises prices. However, this has led to Valeant’s success and dominance in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space. Below, three of Valeant’s top companies or subsidiaries are outlined.

Bausch & Lomb

Bausch & Lomb originated as an American company, founded by an optician, Dr. John Bausch, and a financial backer, Henry Lomb, in 1853. The company is among the world’s largest and best-recognized supplier of eye care and health products, including contact lenses and medications for eye diseases. One product line, the Ray-Ban brand of sunglasses, was integral in putting Bausch & Lomb at the forefront of recognition in its space. Bausch & Lomb remained a public company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) until it was acquired in 2007 by Warburg Pincus PLC, a private equity firm. Valeant bought Bausch & Lomb from the firm in 2013 in a deal worth over $8 billion, with at least half of the total cash paid earmarked to pay off Bausch & Lomb debt. The company remains a leader in its field, operating in more than 40 countries with its headquarters in Rochester, New York.

Salix Pharmaceuticals

Salix Pharmaceuticals is an American specialty pharmaceuticals company, the largest gastrointestinal specialty pharmaceutical company in the world as of 2015. Salix is responsible for developing and producing medical devices and prescription medications that work to prevent or treat gastrointestinal disorders or ailments. The company was founded in 1989 and was headquartered in California until 2001, when headquarters were relocated to North Carolina. Salix is listed on the Russell 2000 index.

The company’s founding products were in-licensed from European pharmaceutical companies and developed and commercialized in the United States. Colazal, before going generic in 2007, generated more than $110 million for the company. Xifaxan, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, generated north of $600 million in sales for Salix in 2014.

Salix, since its founding, remained steadfast in continuing as an independent company. The firm survived a hostile takeover attempt by a Canadian pharmaceutical company. Salix also acquired a number of other firms, including InKine Pharmaceutical Company in 2004, Oceana Therapeutics in 2011 and Santarus in 2013. Total sales for all Salix products in 2014, boosted by acquiring products from overtaken companies, were over $1 billion. Salix was eventually overtaken by Valeant in 2015 for a total of $15.6 billion.

ECR Pharmaceuticals Company Inc.

ECR Pharmaceuticals Company Inc. is a manufacturer and wholesale seller of pharmaceutical products. The company was established in 2009 and promotes certain branded pharmaceuticals through the use of its sales force. This subsidiary company was originally acquired by Akorn Inc. (NASDAQ: AKRX) when it acquired Hi-Tech Pharmacal. Akorn sold ECR Pharmaceuticals to Valeant in mid-2014 in a $41 million cash deal. ECR Pharmaceuticals generates an approximated $1 million to $2.5 million in annual revenue.

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