There are many hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, and zoetic is not one of the more
common. The word, meaning “of or relating to life”, is the inspiration for Zoetis, the new name for Pfizer’s (PFE) soon to be independent Animal Health business.
After over a year of speculation as to how Pfizer would divest this unit (we have written three posts on this topic), the company has decided to conduct an IPO for up to 20% of the unit, ending previous speculation that the unit might be sold. From the company’s recent earnings release:
“We are committed to keeping our capital allocation priorities aligned with the best interests of our shareholders. The pending sale of our Nutrition business and potential separation of our Animal Health business as a stand-alone public company to be named Zoetis remain on track. We anticipate filing a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission by mid-August for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of up to a 20% ownership stake in Zoetis. If the IPO is successfully completed, which we are targeting for the first half of 2013, we will have a variety of options to achieve a potential full separation of Zoetis. As we continue to work toward a separation of this business, we remain open to all alternatives to maximize the after-tax return for our shareholders,” concluded Mr. Read.
The animal health business is the world’s largest with more than $4 billion in revenue last year. Pfizer has not yet decided what it will do with the large controlling interest it will retain after the IPO, but a spinoff to shareholders is an increasingly likely outcome. We will keep an eye out for the upcoming IPO filing and update when it occurs.
Disclosure: The author holds no position in PFE
- Pfizer starts spinoff of animal health business, Zoetis (usatoday.com)
- An Animal of an IPO (fool.com)
- Pfizer names animal health unit Zoetis (marketwatch.com)
- Are we running out of names (again)? (namedropping.wordpress.com)