Valeant shareholder says firm will hire new CEO shortly

One of Valeant's largest investors says the embattled drug maker is weeks away from hiring a new chief executive to oversee the company's turnaround.

Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management says there are a handful of candidates who are being considered and who would find filling the shoes of Michael Pearson very attractive.

Valeant announced two weeks ago that Pearson would be leaving the company after eight years.

During a conference call and webcast with investors in his hedge fund, Ackman said the best time to invest in a company is when expectations and valuations are low.

Once one of Canada's most valuable companies following years of growth including multiple acquisitions, shares in Quebec-based Valeant have plunged amid controversy on several fronts — including its relationship with mail-order pharmacy Philidor.

Ackman who recently joined Valeant's board of directors foresees a big and quick upside for his faltering investment.

He says the company can regain investor confidence by releasing revised financial statements later this month, adding strong new management and delivering several quarters of good results.

Ackman says the company's statement Tuesday that no additional problems were discovered in a five-month internal review will help.

After interviewing 70 people and reviewing more than one million documents, an ad-hoc committee said the only restatement required was announced in February, involving about $58 million US of sales through Philidor that were recognized at the wrong time.

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