The new standalone company is on track to be created by Pfizer’s previously stated target of July 2013.

Pfizer has announced the next steps in its strategic alternatives review process for the company’s animal health business. Preparations are taking place for a possible initial public offering of a minority ownership stake in the new business, which will be called Zoetis.

VaccineIan Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive, said: “We are on track to create a standalone Animal Health company by our previously stated target of July 2013. Our focus continues to be on taking the actions that will generate the greatest after-tax value for our shareholders, with share repurchases remaining the case to beat in allocating cash proceeds from the separation.”

According to Pfizer, Zoetis will build on its animal health business in the “discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of a diverse portfolio of animal vaccines, medicines, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and genetic tests to prevent and treat disease in livestock and companion animals”.

Zoetis is derived from the word zoetic, which means “pertaining to life”. Juan Ramón Alaix, Pfizer Animal Health president, said: “The name best captures the company’s focus on partnership with veterinarians, livestock producers and companion animal owners by providing innovative products and solutions that advance animal health and human well-being.

“We are excited about Pfizer’s decision to chart an independent future for the Animal Health business and about our new name, Zoetis.”

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