Bausch + Lomb, the company that has roots in Rochester and still employs more than 1,100 people locally, is likely to go through a corporate change in the next year or so. Its corporate parent, Bausch Health Companies, on Thursday is announcing that it intends to spin off its eye health business into an independent publicly traded entity, Bausch + Lomb – NewCo.
That would split operations like the vision care business, which makes contact lenses in Rochester, into a separate company from the pharmaceutical operations.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said that the eyecare unit, Bausch + Lomb, had $3.7 billion in revenue last year, compared with about $4.9 billion from the rest of the company. The news comes about seven years after the Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant acquired Bausch + Lomb for nearly $9 billion.
Bausch Health Chair and CEO Joseph Papa said the company is committed to taking action to unlock what they see as unrecognized value in Bausch Health shares. He said management believes separating the company will give each business greater flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities.
A Bausch Health spokesperson tells public radio's WXXI News in Rochester that in terms of any local impact, they are still in the very early stages of the process but will provide updates over the coming months.
At Brighton Securities, George Conboy said that it is likely B + L would continue to have operations remaining in Rochester even after the spin off since they have a high-tech facility here, well respected in the industry. Conboy said one hope would be to see if the headquarters could be moved back to Rochester. In recent years, that division has had the corporate offices in New Jersey.