Bausch Health agrees to pay $1.21 billion to settle share price lawsuit

(Reuters) - Bausch Health Cos Inc BHC.TO said on Monday it settled a class action lawsuit for $1.21 billion related to a drop in the drugmaker's shares during 2013-2015.

The company, previously known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, did not admit to any liability and denied all allegations of wrongdoing as part of the settlement for the litigation originally filed in October 2015.

Bausch Health said it intends to use a combination of sources to fund the settlement, which may include cash on hand, its revolving credit facility and potentially accessing capital markets.

The settlement, subject to court approval, does not impact the company’s 2019 financial forecast and will not diminish its ability to continue to invest in its businesses, Bausch Health said.

The drugmaker has sought to get past a series of scandals and accounting issues under previous management.

Valeant had faced multiple probes into business practices, including its ties to the now-defunct specialty pharmacy Philidor, which began drawing scrutiny in October 2015.

This lead to a steep fall in share price that was compounded by concerns about the company’s heavy debt load, which stood at $23.84 billion as of Sept. 30.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares fell over 4% to $29.60 in trading before the bell. The stock has fallen nearly 90% from its record high of $347.84 in 2015, but has risen nearly 62% this year.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Uttaresh.V