Warburg seeks more than $10 bln in Bausch & Lomb sale-source

NEW YORK Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:40pm EST

NEW YORK Dec 11 (Reuters) - Warburg Pincus LLC has mandated Goldman Sachs Group Inc to explore a sale of eye care company Bausch & Lomb Inc, hoping to fetch more than $10 billion, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The private equity firm has asked Goldman to approach potential buyers for Bausch & Lomb Inc, including major healthcare companies, but could also turn to an initial public offering as an alternative, the source said on condition of anonymity because discussions are confidential.

"Bausch & Lomb is regularly contacted by companies with strategic interest in our company, and we continue to aspire to a return to the public markets in the future," said Bausch & Lomb spokesman Adam Grossberg. "However, our focus remains on building the best global eye-health company, and therefore won't comment further".

Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Bloomberg News reported on Goldman Sachs' appointment to sell Bausch & Lomb earlier on Tuesday.