Pfizer progresses with plans to spin off animal health business as Zoetis


Company schedules initial public offering to sell 86.1 million shares under trading symbol "ZTS."

Pfizer Inc. continues to shed its businesses outside the realm of human pharmaceuticals as plans progress for its subsidiary Zoetis Inc. to take on its animal health business. Zoetis filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of Class A common stock in August 2012. The terms for the IPO, disclosed late Jan. 10, may set up a deal that could be worth as much as $2.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company says it plans to sell 86.1 million Class A shares--representing up to 20 percent in ownership stake--in a price range between $22 and $25 apiece. Although a trading date has not been set yet, the Zoetis IPO is scheduled to price Jan. 31 and shares are expected to begin trading under the symbol “ZTS” on the New York Stock Exchange Feb. 1.

The regulatory filing says Pfizer will trade Class A common stock for debt held by lead underwriters J.P. Morgan & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley. Those underwriters then will sell shares to investors. Zoetis won’t receive any proceeds from the stock offering, according to the filing, but the IPO could value the animal health business at as much as $12.5 billion.

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