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Pfizer to complete Zoetis spinoff

Pfizer's spinoff of its former animal health business Zoetis to be completed by June.

Pfizer Inc. announced May 22 that it plans to complete its spinoff of Zoetis Inc. in June, earlier than expected, in an exchange offer in which Pfizer shareholders can exchange Pfizer shares for the Zoetis shares that the company plans to distribute. 

Zoetis is the former animal health business of Pfizer and is the largest animal health company in the world. It had 2012 sales that totaled $4.3 billion.

Pfizer sold 19.8% of Zoetis in an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year that raised $2.0 billion (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28), after previously selling its infant nutrition business to Nestle S.A. for $11.5 billion (Feedstuffs, Dec. 10, 2012).

The divestitures were made to allow the company to better focus on its core interests in human drugs and medicines, and proceeds were used to buy back stock.

At the time of the Zoetis IPO, Pfizer had indicated it planned to hold onto its remaining stake at least through mid-year. However, in its announcement, the company said Zoetis has performed well since the spinoff, and "given strong demand (for Zoetis shares) in the IPO and a favorable market environment, we concluded that this is the time to distribute our remaining stake" in the business.

Pfizer said its shareholders can exchange all, some or none of their Pfizer shares for Zoetis shares during the exchange period, which is scheduled June 17-19. The company said the exchange rate will be announced on June 19 unless it is extended or terminated.

Zoetis, headquartered in Madison, N.J., has a major portfolio of animal medicines, vaccines and diagnostics to prevent and treat diseases in livestock and companion animals, including aquaculture and horses.

It has 9,300 employees and markets in 120 countries around the world.

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