Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) Trading Higher on Board Appointments

Valeant Pharmaceuticals

The shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl (NYSE: VRX) are trading higher after announcing the appointments of three new independent directors to its Board today.

The stock price of the Canadian pharmaceutical company increased more than 5% to $66.50 at the time of this writing around 12:24 in the afternoon in New York.

Valeant added a representative from Pershing Square

The three new independent directors of Valeant Pharmaceuticals include Dr. Fred Eshelman, Mr. Stephen Fraidin and Mr, Thomas W. Ross Jr.

Dr. Eshelman is a veteran in the pharmaceutical industry. He is the founder, former Executive Chairman and CEO of Pharmaceutical Product Development. He was also the Founding Chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Fraidin is well-known as one of the leading M&A lawyers in the country. He is currently serving as Vice Chairman of Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund headed by activist investor Bill Ackman.

Mr. Ross previously served as President of the University of North Carolina. He also served as Superior Court Judge in the state for 17 years.

In a statement, Robert Ingram, Chairman of the Board of Valeant Pharmaceuticals said, “We are pleased that these three experienced and capable leaders have agreed to join our Board. We look forward to working collaboratively with Fred, Steve and Tom to enhance value for Valeant’s shareholders and strengthen relationships with our other important constituents.”

He added, “As Valeant grows, it is essential that our directors have the appropriate mix of skills and experience necessary to support management.”

The pharmaceutical company also announced the resignation of Dr. Anders Lonner as a director due to other priorities and personal commitments.

Following the changes, the Board of Directors of Valeant Pharmaceuticals is composed of 14 members, 12 of them are independent.

Valeant expected to report “messy” financial results

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is scheduled to discuss its fourth-quarter 2015 preliminary results and to provide an update on its 2016 financial guidance on March 15.

CEO Michael J. Person, who returned from a two-month medical leave said earlier this week, “Now that I have returned, I have been working diligently to review the business so that I can share our latest performance and outlook with shareholders.”

Mr. Ackman recently stated that the pharmaceutical company is expected to reveal “messy” fourth-quarter and first-quarter results. He also expressed that Valeant Pharmaceuticals needed to stabilize its business soon, if not, it needs to sell itself or have new management.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is confronting several investigations by federal prosecutors and regulators in connection with its drug pricing practices and relationship with Philidor RX Services. The pharmaceutical company has been accused of accounting fraud by Citron Research, but strongly denied the allegation.