Pfizer mulls possible sale of consumer health unit

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NEW YORK — Pfizer Inc. is assessing strategic options for its Pfizer Consumer Healthcare subsidiary, including a potential sale.

The pharmaceutical giant said this week that it’s considering “a full or partial separation of the Consumer Healthcare business from Pfizer through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.” However, the company noted that it may decided to keep the business unit.

Ian Read

“Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is a leading player in the largest O-T-C categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals,” Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer Ian Read said in a statement. “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,” Read explained.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, whose 2016 sales totaled $3.4 billion, markets two of the 10 top-selling consumer health brands globally: Centrum and Advil, according to the company. The unit includes 10 brands that each topped $100 million in sales last year, and several local brands are top-ranked in their markets.

“Consumers are taking more ownership of their health and wellness through OTC products, preventative treatments and alternative health paths,” stated Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer Innovative Health. “Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is playing an important role in changing the world’s well-being. Our colleagues are passionate about empowering consumers around the world to improve their health and wellness through our trusted brands, innovation and thought leadership.”

Among Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s key products in the nonprescription medicine, vitamins and personal care categories are Centrum, Caltrate and Emergen-C (dietary supplements); Advil and Thermacare (pain relief); Nexium 24 Hour and Preparation H (gastrointestinal); Robitussin and Advil Cold & Sinus (respiratory); and ChapStick (lip care) and Anbesol (oral care).

Pfizer said it has enlisted Centerview Partners LLC, Guggenheim Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC as financial advisers for its strategic review. A decision on strategic options for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare likely would be made during 2018, according to the company.



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