Canada’s Valeant to buy Bausch & Lomb

Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Monday that it will pay $8.7 billion to buy Bausch & Lomb, one of the world’s best-known makers of contact lenses, in a massive expansion of Valeant’s smaller ophthalmology business.

Valeant said the cash deal will help it capitalize on increasing demand for contact lenses and other products because of aging populations, growing demand in emerging markets and increasing rates of diabetes. Complications of the complex blood sugar disorder can damage the eyes over time.

Investment firm Warburg Pincus, which leads an investment group that owns Bausch & Lomb, will receive $4.5 billion in cash.

The remaining $4.2 billion will be used to repay Bausch & Lomb’s debt.

Reports that the purchase was in the works surfaced late last week, driving Valeant shares up 13 percent to $84.47 on Friday.

The deal, which requires approval from regulators and other standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Bausch & Lomb will keep its name and become a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

Valeant is based in Laval, Quebec.

— Associated Press

European stocks rise after shaky week

European stocks, bonds and the dollar traded more calmly on Monday after last week’s turbulence, although another 3 percent dive in Japan’s main share index kept investors on edge.

British and U.S. holidays kept European equity and bond markets quieter than usual, but with last week’s falls tempting buyers, the Euro Stoxx 50 was up 0.8 percent and Italian and Spanish bonds eyed their first gains in three sessions.

The dollar was also steadier, though it slid back against the yen as the latest lurch in Japanese equities encouraged investors who have been unwinding their dollar hedges on share portfolios and heading for bonds.

The 3.2 percent drop on Tokyo’s Nikkei brought its losses since Thursday to more than 10 percent, although the index is still up 35 percent this year.

Last week’s shakeout of equity, bond and currency markets was triggered by concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve could wind up its monetary support sooner than expected, weak Chinese data and doubts over how low Japan will allow the yen to go.

— Reuters

Also in Business

l  EADS, the European defense group, and partner Northrop Grumman said they will continue to work with the German government on a drone project that Berlin canceled this month. Germany scrapped the plans to purchase and modify Euro Hawk reconnaissance drones, because of the cost of meeting standards required to win aviation approval. In a joint statement Monday, the partners described as “inaccurate” reports of problems with the aircraft’s flight control system and excessive costs of completing the airworthiness certification.

l  Readers of Germany’s best-selling daily, Bild, will have to pay for some online content starting in mid-June, an executive at Axel Springer said Monday as the company fights against an era of “free beer for everyone.” Bild’s Web site will adopt a “freemium model,” with some content remaining free while items such as exclusive interviews, stories and photos will be subject to a charge.

l  A majority of European Union governments oppose a plan to impose hefty duties on solar panel imports from China, a survey of member states showed Monday. The European Commission accuses Chinese firms of selling solar panels at below cost in Europe and plans to impose duties. But Reuters spoke to diplomats of 21 of the E.U.’s 27 countries and confirmed that 15 opposed the duties, including Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, while six supported them. The other six declined to say or were unreachable.

— From news services

Coming Today

l  9 a.m.: S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for March released.

l  10 a.m.: Consumer confidence index for May released.