Billionaire investor John Paulson has joined the board of directors of embattled Canadian pharmaceuticals company Valeant, giving the beleaguered firm a much-needed vote of confidence.
The move comes only a few months after the surprising March 2017 decision by Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman to throw in the towel, liquidating his highly visible stake in Valeant and leaving its board.
With 19.4 million shares, or 5.7%, Paulson & Co. is the largest shareholder in Valeant. The company has been trying to restructure itself for much of the past year in order to address a massive $30 billion debt hoard amassed during the company’s rapid expansion a few years ago.
Investors viewed Paulson’s move as a clear positive, sending Valeant’s shares up nearly 6.5% on the news. It remains some 95% below its mid-2015 high of $257.
Paulson is not the only hedge fund manager on Valeant’s board. He joins ValueAct’s Robert Hale in the role, and will reportedly work with CEO Gordon Papa, recruited by Ackman to replace Valeant founder Michael Pearson last year, to sell off non-core businesses.
At its peak in 2011, Paulson & Co. managed approximately $38 billion in assets. It now had around $10 billion, $8 billion of which is said to Paulson’s own money.