Bausch and Lomb is known worldwide for its eye care products. Now, the private equity firm that bought the company in 2001 is looking to sell, "It was a surprise today that they'd be exploring this option this quickly but in the grand scheme of things you want to look at all options available to you," said Mark Zupan, Dean of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, "people had expected the IPO route. "
The New York Times reports B and L hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer. The Times also reports Goldman Sachs has reached out to companies like Sanofi and Glaxo Smith Kline. Financial Analyst Doug Hendee of Brighton Securities says B and L is a strong company but the asking price is steep, "eye care is the number one growing segment in health care right now certainly there's tremendous growth potential there whether they get 10 billion dollars or not it's really a hard thing to say."
While the sale of the company could mean layoffs, if a deal is made analysts say most at B and L will avoid pink slips, "the reason they're going to be bought out is because they want those lines and they want that product and they see growth there and there's value there," explained Hendee, "so, my sense is you're not going to see the rank and file employees at R and D being laid off."
Management may not be so lucky, "the only issues to take into account would be restructuring of upper level management to what extent if they go the purchase route," said Zupan, "that will be done at another location so there's still some components at risk/"
The Wall Street Journal reports if the company doesn't sell it could go back on the market.
Bausch and Lomb issued the following statement in response to the news, "Bausch and Lomb is regularly contacted by companies with strategic interest in our company and we continue to aspire to return to the public markets in the future. However, our focus remains on building the best global eye health company and therefore won't comment any further."