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Pfizer mulling product sale to streamline ops; sources

$2bn worth of cardiology, urology and primary care products look likely to be sold off in bulk
Pfizer

Pfizer is exploring the sale of a clutch of mature products in order to raise some $2bn in cash - and pare down its product portfolio, says Bloomberg.

Citing sources close to the company, the newswire says Pfizer is considering the sale of various cardiology, urology and primary care products that collectively make around $700m a year, and is working with investment bank JP Morgan to try to find a buyer.

About 40% of the sales occur in the US and 45% occur in Europe, according to the report, and Pfizer is keen to sell the products as a group rather than piecemeal, with drugmakers and private equity groups likely buyers.

Adding fuel to the rumour fire is Pfizer's announcement of a $5bn share buyback, something it has done in the past when divesting large-scale assets such as animal health unit Zoetis to deal with accretion and dilution.

Last October, Pfizer ended years of speculation that it would split its generic and in-patent medicines into two separate companies, saying that the disruption created by the move outweighed any benefits to cashflow or competitive position in the market. But the rumour suggests it is not adverse to trimming down its established products division.

Pfizer is in the final throes of divesting its infusion systems unit - acquired as part of its $15bn purchase of Hospira in 2015 - for around $1bn in cash and stock and said during its fourth-quarter results presentation that it is still interested in making acquisitions and partnerships to bulk up its R&D portfolio.

The company bought Medivation and Anacor last year - for $14bn and $5.2bn respectively - after previously failing to bring mega-mergers with AstraZeneca and Allergan to fruition.

The Medivation deal brought in prostate cancer treatment Xtandi (enzalutamide), while buying Anacor gave the drugmaker a late-stage eczema candidate - crisaborole - tipped as a future blockbuster.

Article by
Phil Taylor

6th February 2017

From: Sales

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