May 27, 2013 Comments

U.S. markets were closed today for Memorial day. Toronto rose 0.2%.

It’s interesting that Valeant Pharmaceuticals has risen so much on the announcement it will buy Bausch and Lomb for some $8.7 billion. More typically when one company acquired another the one being bought has an increase in the share price and the one doing the buying sees its shares sink somewhat.

One explanation for the rise in Valeant’s shares was that it will be immediately accretive. Well of course it will. It’s financed mostly with debt. If you can borrow at 4% then buying any company with an earnings yield of at least 4% or a P/E under 20 will be accretive. And if you can forecast huge synergies that can make most any deal accretive.

But, a transaction being accretive to earnings per share is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for a wise acquisition.

The following statement seems rather ambitious (but then again I know nothing about Valeant)

Valeant expects to achieve at least $800 million in annual cost savings by end of 2014. Bausch + Lomb expects to have revenues of approximately $3.3 billion and adjusted EBITDA in 2013 of approximately $720 million .  The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Valeant’s cash earnings per share.  Assuming the transaction occurred on January 1, 2013 and assuming the full realization of synergies, the acquisition would have been approximately 40% accretive to Valeant’s expected 2013 Cash EPS.

However growth by acquisition can indeed be an excellent way to create value for shareholders as long as it is done properly. So perhaps the market is correct here.


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