Joseph Papa has been on the job for just three weeks, but the new CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals has some big questions to answer about the embattled company.
Like, will Valeant start to sell assets to pay down a massive debt pile?
Papa addressed the issue at the UBS Global Healthcare Conference on Monday, making sure to both remind everyone that he isn’t in desperate need of cash, and also leave open the opportunity that sales or spin-offs could happen.
“I don’t need to sell anything,” he said. Last week, Bloomberg reported that the company was considering selling some of its cancer and dermatology products to pay down its debt.
Shareholder Bill Ackman has also suggested that the company spin-off a stake in Bausch & Lomb in order to force investors to recognise its real value (which is Ackman’s eyes is much higher than Valeant is currently worth).
Still, Papas clearly isn’t ruling anything out either.
“There will be some places where we’ll have to make some decisions on what’s core,” he said
Last week, Valeant also announced that it would be increasing the discount it gave to hospitals for certain heart medications — Nitropress and Isuprel — to up to 40%. When asked about the discounts and the price increases that provoked them, Papa owned up to it, calling the price increases a mistake.
“Did we do that? Yes. Was it a mistake? Yes.”
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