- Bausch + Lomb continues to bulk up via dealmaking, announcing Thursday a deal to buy a line of eye and contact lens drops from Johnson & Johnson for just under $107 million.
- The deal hands Bausch + Lomb six different eye drop products under the “Blink” brand, which have been sold over the counter through J&J’s Vision subsidiary.
- Bausch + Lomb said it will pay for the deal through cash on hand. The eye care company held $518 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, and listed around $19 billion in long-term debt, much of which is due in 2027 or later.
Brent Saunders, the former CEO of Allergan and an executive known for his dealmaking, joined Bausch + Lomb in March, taking over leadership of the contact lens manufacturer from Joseph Papa.
The deal with J&J follows one week after Bausch + Lomb, which was spun out of Bausch Health via an initial public offering, agreed to pay up to $2.5 billion to acquire the dry eye disease drug Xiidra and other assets from Novartis.
While Xiidra is a prescription drug, the deal with J&J will add to Bausch + Lomb’s pharmacy portfolio. “There’s a growing need for relieving the symptoms of dry eyes and dry contact lenses, and OTC products are often the first option consumers choose,” said John Ferris, head of consumer at Bausch + Lomb, in a statement.
Bausch + Lomb shares rose about 5% on news of the Novartis deal, and are now up nearly 25% year to date.
For J&J, the sale comes about two months after its consumer health spinoff Kenvue raised $3.8 billion in an IPO, one of the final steps in the pharmaceutical giant’s plans to divest its consumer business to focus on prescription drugs and medical devices.