Bausch Health Cos. said it is planning an initial public offering of its Solta Medical aesthetics unit, part of an effort to pay down debt.

The announcement of the proposed offering came as Bausch reported a net loss of US$595 million for the second quarter due to an accounting charge. Bausch shares fell 4.8 per cent as of 8:32 a.m. in New York.

The stock sale is expected to take place late this year or early in 2022, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Bausch said Solta will be based in Canada and is intended to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Bausch is trying to reduce a US$23.7 billion debt burden, much of it the legacy of a wave of mergers and acquisitions the company did when it was known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

Bausch said that it would cut its debt by US$350 million through the redemption of senior notes, using cash on hand and cash generated from operations.

The company didn’t provide financial details of the Solta offering. The unit had 2020 revenue of US$253 million, according to the statement. External factors including regulatory approvals and other issues may affect when the deal occurs and how it is structured, Bausch said.

Bausch has settled claims for US$1.21 billion that it misled investors about the company’s financial performance. In related lawsuits, investors have accused Valeant of deceptive business practices, including price gouging and a kickback scheme that led to the conviction of a former executive on bribery charges in 2018.