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May 2, 2017

Valeant on pace to repay US$5B in debt by Feb. 2018: Papa

Joe Papa

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO), weighed down by debt from years of acquisitions, is on pace to meeting its target of repaying US$5 billion in debt between August, 2016 and February, 2018, Chief Executive Joe Papa told shareholders on Tuesday.

Repayment is expected to come from asset sale proceeds and free cash flow, and the company has earlier announced sales that will generate up-front proceeds of US$2.35 billion.

The compay's shareholders, meanwhile, used the company's annual general meeting Tuesday as a forum to vent their gripes with the struggling drugmaker.

Some stockholders told Papa that they were unhappy with Valeant's low share price, insufficient response to negative media coverage and his predecessor's lawsuit against the company seeking extra compensation.

Their frustration came after Papa said Valeant is making progress to stabilize itself after nearly two years of challenges, including a stock price that has plummeted from nearly $350 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in August 2015 to about $14 early Tuesday morning.

Still, he said a proposal to change the company's name given the negative perception tarnishing it remains under consideration.

- with files from The Canadian Press