Pfizer may sell Nutrition business

by Keith Nunes
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NEW YORK — Pfizer Inc. is exploring its options for its Nutrition and Animal Health business units. Following a company-wide portfolio review, Pfizer said it is considering options that may include a full or partial separation of each of the businesses through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.

“Both 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,” said Ian Read, president and chief executive officer. “In exploring these alternatives, we can determine what options will best drive their future growth opportunities and expansion, and enable shareholders to potentially realize higher value for these businesses.”

Pfizer Nutrition is a manufacturer of formula and other nutritional products for infants and children up to seven years of age. The business unit has operations in 60 countries. In 2010, Pfizer Nutrition generated $1.9 billion in sales.

The Animal Health business unit had sales of approximately $3.6 billion in 2010.

“The actions we’re announcing today are driven by the potential to create value for shareholders and enable Pfizer to become a more focused organization, better positioned for future success,” Mr. Read said. “Ultimately, our decisions will continue to support our long-term strategy to allocate our resources, investments and people to the areas that best serve our patients and customers, and generate the best value for our shareholders.”

Pfizer has engaged Morgan Stanley and Centerview Partners’ advisory business to evaluate the strategic alternatives for its Nutrition business. J.P. Morgan has been selected to focus on the company’s Animal Health business. Although the timeline for each evaluation may differ, Pfizer said it expects to complete any transactions that may result from the evaluations in 12 to up to 24 months.

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