Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said Friday that 1.3 million shares that were pledged to Goldman Sachs to secure loans made to Chief Executive Michael Pearson were sold by Goldman on Thursday. Pearson himself said he had not sold any shares earned as compensation, “and it was not my desire that shares be sold now,” he said. Pearson had agreed in January not to receive a base salary for his work, but instead to be compensated with cash and stock incentive awards based on performance. Valeant had disclosed in a proxy statement filed April 22 that it had allowed Pearson to pledge about 2 million shares to Goldman, as collateral for loans of about $100 million. The funds were used to finance charitable contributions, purchase Valeant shares and meet tax obligations relating to the vesting of equity-based compensation. “Goldman Sachs required repayment of the loans, and has informed the company that it sold the shares it held as collateral in satisfaction of the loans,” the company said in a statement. Valeant shares rose nearly 4% in premarket trade, but are down 44% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 2%.
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