Valeant gets extra month to file annual report

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO said on Thursday its lenders had agreed to give it an extra month to file its annual report, providing breathing room for the embattled drugmaker as it tries to win back investor confidence.

Trading information for Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The extension provides relief if Valeant is unable to file its annual report by April 29 - a deadline the company reiterated it intended to meet. The company missed an original March 15 deadline, blaming an in-house review of its accounting practices.

Valeant last week said it risked defaulting on its $30 billion debt if it missed the April 29 deadline, raising further questions about the company after a string of controversies, including U.S. government scrutiny of its drug price hikes and former ties to a specialty pharmacy.

Valeant said its lenders had agreed to a May 31 deadline to lodge the report.

“The company is comfortable with its current liquidity position and cash flow generation for the rest of the year, and remains well positioned to meet its obligations,” Valeant said, repeating a statement it made last week.

The amendment to the company’s credit agreement also allows it to extend the filing deadline for its first-quarter report to July 31 from June 14.

The deal with its lenders requires Valeant to apply substantially all net asset sale proceeds to prepay its term loans. The agreement also waives the cross-default to indentures that arose when the annual report was not filed in March.

Investors in Valeant’s loans agreed to the changes after the company on Tuesday boosted the interest rate on the debt, agreeing to pay an extra one percentage point, according to three sources familiar with the terms who are not authorized to discuss them publicly. The rate is locked in for a year.

The rate will then be subject to the company’s debt compared with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), or leverage.

Valeant was not immediately available for comment on the terms.

Valeant said on Tuesday that the committee, which was probing the company’s ties to specialty drug distributor Philidor, had completed its review and had not found anything that would require additional restatements.

Up to Wednesday’s U.S. close, Valeant’s stock had risen almost 30 percent in two days, helped by that news as well as a comment by key shareholder and board member William Ackman that a new chief executive could be appointed within weeks.

Shares of Valeant were up 4.06 percent at $35.56 in late afternoon trading.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru and Kristen Haunss in New York; Editing by Ted Kerr and Andrew Hay