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Financials

UPDATE 2-Under eye of Icahn, Bausch Health gives activist investor two board seats

(Adds background, quarterly results details)

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Bausch Health Companies Inc on Wednesday agreed to add two directors from Icahn Group to its board, weeks after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a nearly 8% stake in the Canadian drugmaker.

The new members - Bret Icahn, Carl’s son, and Steve Miller, both portfolio managers at Icahn Capital LP - will be appointed to committees including those assisting with the potential spinoff of Bausch’s eye health business.

Bausch, which has sought to get past a flurry of investigations into its accounting and pricing practices under its previous management, said in August it would spin off its eye care unit, Bausch + Lomb, into a separate publicly listed company.

Since its purchase in 2013, Bausch + Lomb has been a stable source of revenue for the company, especially after the accounting issues led to a steep fall in the share price of the one-time Wall Street darling, compounded by concerns over Bausch’s large debt pile.

Shares of the company fell 32% in 2020.

Earlier this month, Glenview Capital Management, which holds a 4.6% stake in Bausch Health, in a letter to the drugmaker’s chief executive, said that details of the plan for the spinoff were “both vague and suboptimal” and called for the separation to be completed by year-end 2021.

Separately, Bausch Health posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss helped by an uptick in demand for its contact lenses, Bausch + Lomb.

The drugmaker expects full-year revenue in the range of $8.60 billion to $8.80 billion. Analysts are expecting 2021 revenue to be $8.52 billion, according to data from Refinitiv IBES. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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