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12 October 2017Americas

Pfizer mulls sale of over-the-counter business

Pfizer has revealed it is considering selling off its Consumer Healthcare business, a billion dollar over-the-counter company.

The pharma company said it was reviewing strategic alternatives including full or partial separation of the business, either through a spin-off or full sale.

“Today’s announcement is part of Pfizer’s continuing efforts to allocate resources and capital to best serve patients and maximise value for its shareholders,” the company said on Tuesday, October 10.

Last year Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which operates in more than 90 countries, reported revenues of approximately $3.4 billion.

Among its biggest sellers are pain killer Advil (ibuprofen) and multi vitamin Centrum. The business has ten brands that each exceeded $100 million in 2016 sales, the pharmaceutical company said.

Ian Read, chairman and CEO, said: “Although there is a strong connection between Consumer Healthcare and elements of our core biopharmaceutical businesses, it is also distinct enough from our core business that there is potential for its value to be more fully realised outside the company.

“By exploring strategic options, we can evaluate how best to fuel the future success and expansion of Consumer Healthcare while simultaneously unlocking potential value for our shareholders.”

Any decision will be made during 2018, the company said, adding that it does not plan to make any further statements about the strategic review process until a decision has been reached.

Pfizer has been largely quiet on the mergers and acquisitions front since it abandoned a $160 billion deal to buy Allergan last year.

In 2014, it gave up on an attempt to buy Anglo-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca despite repeated attempts. However, last year it did purchase part of AstraZeneca’s antibiotics business in a deal worth up to $1.6 billion.

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