(Bloomberg) Warburg Pincus LLC is interviewing banks for an initial public offering of Rochester-based Bausch & Lomb Inc. after an effort to sell the eye-care company resulted in disappointing bids, said people with knowledge of the matter.
The private-equity firm is soliciting pitches from Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which financed the firm’s 2007 buyout of Bausch & Lomb, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. New York-based Warburg had worked with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) on finding a buyer for the company and had sought at least $10 billion, people familiar with the process said in January. Goldman Sachs will likely work with another bank on the IPO, another person said.
Warburg is pursuing an IPO to exit its investment after private bids came in at less than $9 billion, one of the people said. Additionally, Warburg and Bausch & Lomb have been encouraged by the performance of Zoetis Inc. since its January debut, another person said. Zoetis, Pfizer Inc.’s animal-health unit, raised $2.57 billion in its IPO, pricing the shares above the marketed range, and has climbed 25 percent.
Warburg is weighing how to dispose of the business as it seeks investments for a new fund that documents obtained by Bloomberg News show has a target of $12 billion. Warburg took Bausch & Lomb private in a 2007 deal valued at $4.6 billion, including debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Adam Grossberg, a spokesman for Bausch & Lomb, and Jeffrey Smith, a spokesman for Warburg, declined to comment on the process. Representatives for Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse declined to comment.