Bausch + Lomb prices IPO at $18 a share, below expectations

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Bausch + Lomb Corp. BLCO,

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priced its IPO at $18 a share Thursday, falling short of expectations as it became the first big company in months to try going public into a turbulent stock market.

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Bausch Health Cos. BHC,
-7.40%,
the parent company, raised $630 million in the offering. It had been aiming to raise as much as $840 million and sell the stock at $21 to $24 a share, according to a regulatory filing. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported the deal was likely to price at the low end or below the range.

US IPO market bracing for second biggest deal of the year so far in eye-care health company Bausch + Lomb

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The debut of the eye-care company, a spinoff of Bausch Health Cos., is being watched closely as a bellwether for the IPO market, which has been virtually shut down since stocks started falling earlier this year. It is the first big initial public offering since private-equity firm TPG Inc. TPG,
-5.35%
went public in mid-January, After a record year in 2021, traditional IPOs have raised less than $3.3 billion in 2022, the slowest start since 2016, according to Dealogic.

Bausch is a fitting test case for the IPO market, which provides a crucial spigot of cash and visibility to startups and Wall Street alike. The company is profitable and a well-established name in its industry.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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