Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is considering selling off the animal health side of its business, as well as its interests in the human nutrition sector. The company claims it is currently “exploring strategic alternatives”.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is considering selling off the animal health side of its business as well as its interests in the human nutrition sector.
A statement issued by the company said that, following a portfolio review, it is “exploring strategic alternatives” for its animal health and nutrition businesses and “expects to complete any transactions that may result from these evaluations in 12 to up to 24 months”.
When the statement was issued on July 7, Pfizer president and CEO Ian Read made a distinction between the company’s “core business” of consumer healthcare and the animal health and nutrition sectors.
He said: “Animal health and nutrition are strong businesses with attractive customer bases and solid fundamentals, but distinct enough from our core businesses that their value may be best maximized outside the company. In exploring these alternatives, we can determine what options will best drive their future growth opportunities and expansion, and enable shareholders to potentially realise higher value for these businesses.”
Pfizer Animal Health has operations in more than 60 countries and last year earned revenues of approximately £2.2bn. Pfizer Nutrition is a leader in the paediatric nutrition market and generated revenues of approximately £1.2bn in 2010.
Business consultant Ross Tiffin, who has worked within the pharmaceutical industry, said of the company’s announcement: “What this means for the animal health industry and for vets in practice is uncertain.”
He told Veterinary Times: “It would be easy to panic and see Pfizer’s desire to offload its animal health business as a vote of no-confidence in this side of the healthcare business, but I see this decision as being all about cash.”
He added: “Much will depend on who buys the Pfizer business, as more competition should mean more support for veterinary practice, so this could be quite a critical issue.”
Since the announcement, Eli Lilly & Co (which owns Elanco Animal Health) has indicated that it is monitoring plans by Pfizer and may bid for some of the veterinary products of Pfizer Animal Health.
- For the full story by Joel Dudley, see this week’s Veterinary Times (Vol 41, No 30, August 1).