Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged Joseph Landy and Charles Kaye of Warburg Pincus, which owns Bausch & Lomb, to protect existing jobs so that it will remain a vital part of the local economy. Following media reports in the Wall Street Journal and other outlets that Warburg Pincus was contemplating a possible exit strategy that included the private sale or public offering of Bausch and Lomb, Schumer stressed that Rochester's educated and extremely dedicated workforce would ensure the company's continued success moving forward. Schumer emphasized that Rochester's workforce played a crucial role in boosting company sales in 2011 by 11 percent to $2.8 billion, while posting ten successive quarters of growth by mid-2012.
"Regardless of the exact vision for Bausch and Lomb's future ownership, the irreplaceable value of Rochester's top-notch workforce in continuing the company's success is crystal clear," said Schumer. "For over 150 years, Bausch & Lomb has benefited from the dedicated Rochester workforce that has helped the company post ten consecutive quarters of growth. I applaud the good governance exhibited by Warburg Pincus over the past five years, and I am urging them to protect Bausch and Lomb's 1700 jobs in Rochester ahead of a possible ownership change."
In a letter Schumer sent today to Warburg Pincus co-presidents, Schumer urged that Bausch and Lomb's owners preserve the company's local Rochester workforce as part of any possible sale or IPO. At the time of Warburg Pincus' acquisition of Bausch & Lomb in 2007, Schumer gained the assurance of Warburg Pincus that it would keep Bausch & Lomb's core operations in Rochester and would invest in the company for growth to support its Rochester skilled workforce. In his letter today, Schumer applauded Warburg Pincus for its stellar stewardship of the company and for abiding by its commitment over the past five years. Between 2011 and 2012, Bausch and Lomb's local employment in Rochester has increased by about 107 jobs to a total of 1700 jobs according to the Rochester Business Journal.
Since its inception in 1853 in Rochester, Bausch and Lomb has evolved into a multi-billion dollar optical company and today employs approximately 1,700 workers in the Rochester region, primarily based at the company's manufacturing and research facilities on North Goodman Street. Bausch and Lomb was founded John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb and today employs approximately 11,000 people worldwide. The company, a leader in technology and optical care, specializes in eye health products such as contact lenses, lens care, pharmaceuticals and surgical devices and instruments.
A copy of Sen. Schumer's letter appears below:
Dear Mr. Landy and Mr. Kaye,
I write in response to recent published reports that Warburg Pincus LLC may be actively considering a near-term exit strategy to either sell Bausch & Lomb or take the company public through an IPO. I respectfully request that under any exist strategy scenario that you position the company to maintain its current workforce which together with your investments over the past five years have enabled Bausch & Lomb to grow and succeed in the marketplace.
Since its founding in Rochester by Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb in 1853, this company and its workforce in Rochester, NY have shared a remarkable and mutually-beneficial relationship that has enabled Bausch & Lomb to become a world class company. I appreciate that Warburg Pincus has continued this relationship and lived up to the assurance you provided me in 2007 that under Warburg Pincus's ownership the company's core operations would remain in Rochester and you would invest in the company for growth while supporting its skilled workers in Rochester. Bausch & Lomb has grown under your stellar stewardship.
As you have undoubtedly learned first-hand over the past five years, Rochester is renowned for its highly-educated workforce which is part and parcel of the successes Bausch & Lomb has achieved over recent years. Together with its workforce, your strategy has set the company on a successful path with company sales in 2011 alone increasing by 11% to $2.8 billion while posting ten successive quarters of growth.
Therefore, as you contemplate potential exit strategies for this successful investment, I again seek your assurance that any potential transaction continues to reflect your exemplary commitment to Rochester and your focus to preserve and grow Bausch & Lomb here in the City it was founded in more than 150 years ago. I stand ready to partner with you to help realize your aspirations to continue Bausch & Lomb's reputation as a world class eye health company.