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Valeant Says It Has Received a Notice of Default

The headquarters of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. stands in  Bridgewater Township, U.S., on Wednesday Nov. 04, 2015. Photographer: Michael Nagle/BloombergThe headquarters of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. stands in  Bridgewater Township, U.S., on Wednesday Nov. 04, 2015. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Investors are seeking greater clarity on Valeant's direction.Photograph by Michael Nagle — Bloomberg Finance

Valeant Pharmaceutical (VRX) has been in a tenuous situation with its creditors for months after repeatedly delaying the filing its 2015 fiscal year earnings, and barely staving off default risks.

But now the string may have broken.

One of the Canadian pharmaceutical giant’s bond holders notified Valeant of its intent to call a default, the company revealed in a press release Tuesday. According to people familiar with the matter as reported by the Wall Street Journal, Centerbridge Partners is the creditor in question.

That means the beleaguered company will have 60 days to file its annual report—or repay what it owes to Centerbridge ahead of time.

Shares of Valeant are trading down nearly 3% in after hours following the news.

It not so much the debt owned by Centerbridge that will cripple the company—the advisory firm owns just about $250 million worth of the company’s 5.5% notes due 2023, according to the Journal—but what will happen afterward. If Valeant is forced to repay Centerbridge’s bonds, other creditors holding parts of Valeant’s $32 billion debt could also demand they get repaid as well. And Valeant doesn’t seem to have the cash to handle that. It’s most recent balance sheet for the fourth quarter says it has $1.2 billion in cash.

Valeant said the notice doesn’t change anything.

The “notice does not accelerate any of the company’s indebtedness,” Valeant wrote in a statement. “The company has until June 11, 2016 to cure default by filing 10-K.“

Valeant reiterated on Tuesday that it is still aiming to report its 10-K on April 29, though it has reached an agreement with creditors that allows to company to file by May 31 at latest.

But the move by Centerview could also be an attempt to win additional concessions in negotiations with Valeant without actually forcing the latter to repay its debts. It’s a move that lenders have used before.

 

Valeant previously asked permission from creditors to delay filing its annual report—though Valeant also gave lenders a push in the form of an amendment fee. According to Bloomberg, the company offered a one-time 0.5% fee on a portion of the company’s debt as well as a 0.5% increase on interest paid on term loans.

(For more on Valeant read: Valeant Timeline: What Caused the 90% Plunge?)

It hasn’t been an easy ride for the company, which is still seeking a CEO to replace Michael Pearson. The company’s stock price has cratered 88% since August, after the company came under fire for alleged drug price gouging practices. At the end of March, it was reported that Valeant had asked lenders to allow the company to delay fiscal year 2015 earnings for a month from April 29 to May 31. The company asked creditors to waive restrictions and conditions to its debt.