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Reports: B&L hires banks for IPO

By ANDREA DECKERT - 3/1/2013 3:22:06 PM

The owner of Bausch & Lomb Inc. reportedly has selected the banks that will lead a planned initial public offering of the Rochester-based eye-care firm.

Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters on Friday cited unnamed sources who said private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC had chosen JPMorgan Chase & Co. to lead the IPO, which could raise as much as $1.5 billion and is expected to value Bausch and Lomb at $9 billion to $10 billion.

Thomson Reuters also reported that Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup would be involved in the transaction.

Bausch & Lomb representatives declined to comment.

Warburg Pincus bought Bausch & Lomb for $3.7 billion in September 2007, taking the longtime publicly traded company private.

According to reports late last year, Warburg Pincus had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore opportunities to sell the eye-care company. But recently its plans have shifted back to an IPO.

Warburg paid some $3.8 billion for Bausch & Lomb five years ago.

In a lengthy interview with the Rochester Business Journal last July, Bausch & Lomb CEO Brent Saunders said an IPO was more likely than a sale.
 
"We don't spend a great deal of time thinking about an IPO or when that might happen," he said. "We do think about returning to the public market at some point. ... We've maintained all the governance and formalities of a public company."

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