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Bill Ackman Just Got Himself a Board Member on Valeant

March 9, 2016, 3:46 PM UTC
Pershing Square's Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International's Michael Pearson Interview
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Scott Eells — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) said on Wednesday it has added a representative from shareholder Pershing Square Capital Management to its board of directors as well as two other new directors.

Pershing Square, run by activist investor Bill Ackman, bought a stake in Valeant last year when the drugmaker’s shares were on the rise. They have fallen 68% since.

Last fall, the company became the target of two U.S. state investigations into its drug pricing practices, and its relationship with Philidor RX Services, a pharmacy selling its dermatology products, came under scrutiny and was dissolved.

In the last two weeks, the company delayed its annual financial filing with regulators, postponed a preliminary earnings announcement, CEO Michael Pearson returned from a two-month medical leave, and a top dermatology executive left. It also disclosed an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shares rose about 3% in Wednesday morning trading.

Stephen Fraidin, a veteran Wall Street lawyer who is vice chairman at Pershing Square, joined the board, Valeant said.

Fred Eshelman, a drug executive who founded Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX), and Thomas Ross, an academic with ties to Duke University and the University of North Carolina, also joined the board.

Anders Lonner has stepped down as a director.