Pfizer mulls the sale of its consumer healthcare business

Courtney Goldsmith
Follow Courtney
Drug Maker Wyeth To Cut 30 Percent Of Sales Force
Advil and Centrum are among the consumer healthcare unit's top sellers (Source: Getty)

US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer is reviewing strategic alternatives for its consumer healthcare business, including a full or partial separation of the business through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.

Pfizer said the decision was part of its efforts to reallocate resources and capital to best serve patients and maximise value for shareholders.

In 2016, Pfizer's consumer healthcare unit, which makes leading non-prescription medicines and vitamins including Advil and Centrum, generated revenues of around $3.4bn (£2.6bn).

Read more: Pharma giant Pfizer misses analyst expectations as sales of key drugs drop

"Pfizer consumer healthcare is a leading player in the largest OTC [over-the-counter] categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals,” said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer.

“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 realized 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.”

Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanley have been brought in as advisors for the strategic review process.

Any decision regarding strategic alternatives for the business will be made during 2018.

Shares in the New York-listed firm rose 0.89 per cent to $36.45 at the US market open.

Read more: Pfizer sues Johnson & Johnson for violating US antitrust laws

Related articles